Gergiev and the Kirov back to Hill Auditorium Friday through Sunday, October 20-22, for three more concerts dedicated to the profoundly pessimistic symphonies of the great Soviet composer.
Who knows, it could well be fatal. Last season, Gergiev led the works as if he'd known and loved them all his life — which he very well may have. He grasped their furious heights and their fuliginous depths, understood their fervent lyricism and their ironic heroism, comprehended their aesthetic sublimity and their banal vulgarity, and was able to join these disparate qualities in unified interpretations of consummate artistry and deepest humanity. Best of all, Gergiev was able to elicit superbly polished and supremely passionate performances from what is, after all, the pit orchestra of St. Petersburg's Mariinsky Theater. With a tone like dark wood, a color like bright fire, and an attack like a sharp ax, the Kirov is an almost elemental force that Gergiev wields with the grace of an aesthetic warrior.