Rodion Shchedrin Moscow - Petushki

Now in it’s 20th year, Verbier Festival has firmly established itself as one of the most important European classical music festivals hosting a programme that not only includes concerts but also master classes for talented young artists with internationally renowned performers such as Rolando Villazón, Thomas Quasthoff and Lang Lang. Each year former participants of these master classes return to the Swiss festival to form the Verbier Festival Chamber Orchestra and 2014 they will give the world premiere of Rodion Shchedrin’s new work Moscow-Petushki on 19 July with their principal conductor Gábor Takács-Nagy.

Shchedrin’s association with the festival has developed over a number of years and previous premieres at Verbier include Belcanto in the Russian Mode, Romantic Duets, Grusha’s Gypsy Song from the opera The Enchanted Wanderer and Artless Pages.

Moscow-Petushki is based on the 1969 cult novel of the same name by Russian author Venedikt Jerofejev, Shchedrin comments:

Jerofejev’s novel focuses on an alcoholic who is travelling on a suburban train from Moscow to Petushki to visit his mistress and their young child. Unfortunately he never arrives, as he is murdered by his drinking friends en route but my score is in no way a mere illustration of this story. - Rodion Shchedrin

Moscow-Petushki is scored for the same forces as Beethoven’s Second Symphony which is programmed in the same concert. A similar approach can be seen in Shchedrin's symphonic fragment Beethovens Heiligenstädter Testament (2008), which shows the same orchestral instrumentation as a Beethoven Symphony.