Thursday, May 6, 2010
Valery Gergiev: The Maestro of Petersburg
For my money, Valery Gergiev is the best living conductor, period. This video shows him performing Stravinsky's Firebird with the New York Philharmonic. I have Gergiev's recording of the complete ballet Firebird with the Kirov Orchestra, and it is AWESOME! And I've watched his Metropolitan Opera DVD of Tchaikovsky's Eugene Onegin so many times, I'm likely to wear the darned thing out. Gergiev has a very muscular style of conducting, which makes his tender moments all the more heartbreaking. Although it's a hoary cliché, his conducting feels very "Russian," and from what the critics and fans say, that's an apt description of Gergiev's art.
Watch the video to the end and see how long he holds the final note of the Firebird. Wind players, take a deep breath!