The programme of romantic classics also includes Puccini’s I Crisantemi and Schumann’s Symphony No 1 ‘Spring’.
Born in 1981 in St Petersburg, Polina Leschenko made her solo debut at the age of eight with the Leningrad Symphony Orchestra. A protégé of legendary pianist Martha Argerich, Polina has since performed with many prestigious orchestras throughout the world, including the Hallé, the Australian Chamber Orchestra, and the Russian National Orchestra.
Her new Liszt Recital CD was recently awarded the Choc du Monde de la Musique. In these concerts with the SCO, she performs Chopin’s Piano Concerto No 1 in E minor - written to show off the composer’s own musicianship to greatest advantage.
The outline of Schumann’s ‘Spring’ Symphony was written in just four days in January 1841, and completed not long after. Schumann wanted the orchestra to play with all the freshness and yearning of new growth; he wished to capture the excitement and relief at the end of winter. The movements originally had poetic titles, although Schumann withdrew them later on the basis that the symphony should be able to communicate its ideas without subtitles.
The concerts are the first of the Season for the Orchestra’s Conductor Emeritus, Joseph Swensen. He returns in April to conduct violinist Henning Kraggerud in Brahms’ Violin Concerto. -- www.sco.test.poptel.org.uk