Conductor Vasily Petrenko

Vasily Petrenko © CF Wesenberg

St. Petersburg’s many moods

  1. La Princesse lontaine
  2. Variations on a Rococco Theme
  3. Manfred Symphony
  1. Vasily Petrenko conductor
  2. Pablo Ferrandez cello

Vasily Petrenko conducts music by two composers who have roots in his hometown St. Petersburg: Nikolai Tcherepnin’s Prelude to La Princesse Iointaine and two works by Pyotr Tchaikovsky, the Manfred Symphony and Variations on a Rococo Theme for cello and orchestra.

Nikolai Tcherepnin (1873–1945) grew up in St. Petersburg where he studied composition under Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov and later taught Sergei Prokofiev. He wrote La Princesse Iontaine (“The distant princess”) during his studies based on a play by Edmond Rostand. It is about a troubadour who falls in love with a princess far away that he hears about. He decides to seek her out, but the journey Is long and dangerous and just as he arrives, he dies at her feet.

Pyotr Tchaikovsky (1840–1893) was five years old when he heard Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s music for the first time on a mechanical instrument his father bought in St. Petersburg, where his family ended up moving to a few years later. Little Pyotr was moved to tears and this experience was the beginning of a profound, life-long love affair with Mozart’s music. Tchaikovsky had Mozart in mind when he wrote Variations of a Rococo Theme in 1876. Mozart began to compose in a period that is often referred to as rococo.

More persuasion was needed a few years later when Tchaikovsky began a symphony based on Lord Byron’s dramatic poem Manfred. The initiative for the symphony came from two of the most influential men in the Russian cultural sphere, composer Mily Balakirev and the critic Vladimir Stasov. Tchaikovsky was not enthusiastic about their suggestion, but after reading Byron’s poem and contemplating young Manfred’s pangs of conscience he began to write. Manfred, which premiered in 1886, is Tchaikovsky’s longest symphony and the one that requires the largest orchestra.


  • Adult: 170 - 560 NOK
  • Senior: 170 - 450 NOK
  • Student: 170 - 280 NOK
  • Child: 150 NOK
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