Pianist Behzod Abduraimov

Behzod Abduraimov © Evgeny Eutykhov

A Matter of Life and Death

This concert was played:

  1. Piano Concerto No. 2
  2. The Wooden Prince
  1. Juanjo Mena conductor
  2. Behzod Abduraimov piano

Young composers Serge Prokofiev and Béla Bartók wrote the two works performed in this concert around the same time – both of these brimming with energy and life.

Serge Prokofiev (1891–1953) was only twenty-two when he wrote his Piano Concerto No. 2 in 1913. He had composed it in memory of a friend at the St. Petersburg Conservatory who had taken his own life in the same year. While the melancholy first movement might evoke Rachmaninov’s piano works, the three subsequent movements overflow with energy.

Béla Bartók (1881–1945) wrote The Wooden Prince during the years 1914-1916, based on a libretto by his friend Béla Balázs. Bartók was deeply depressed at the time, but The Wooden Prince gave him a lift in more ways than one – and the premiere in Budapest in 1917 was an enormous success.

The music is a mixture of fascinating orchestra sounds, and seems inspired by the work of Claude Debussy and Richard Strauss. We meet a genuine, human prince who falls in love with a princess. But a scheming fairy conspires to make the forest block the prince’s way to her, and in order to get her attention the prince disguises one of the trees in the forest as himself. Things do not go as planned: the “wooden prince” comes alive, and the princess escapes with him instead.

(Translation from Norwegian: Sarah Osa)


  • Adult: 150 - 540 NOK
  • Senior: 150 - 430 NOK
  • Student: 150 - 270 NOK
  • Child: 150 NOK

The concert is included in the following subscriptions: