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Valery Gergiev

October 19, 2009

Gergiev's Toothpick

Valery Gergiev is one of the most dynamic conductors of our time: expressive face, penetrating eyes, dramatic gyrations and leaps on the podium. But he also likes to be very precise -- he generally conducts, not with a baton, but with a toothpick held between his right thumb and forefinger. Last month, Gergiev opened the new season with the London Symphony Orchestra by using a toothpick to conduct "Daphnis and Chloe" by Maurice Ravel.

Today's Playlist

Performance Today audio is available for thirty days following broadcast.

hour 1

  • Sergei Prokofiev
    First movement from Symphony No.1 in D, Op.25 ("Classical")
    The London Symphony Orchestra with conductor Valery Gergiev
  • Frederic Chopin
    Etude No. 4 in C-sharp Minor, Op. 10 ("Torrent")
    Pianist Nobuyuki Tsujii
    Van Cliburn International Piano Competition, Fort Worth, Texas
  • Maurice Ravel
    Excerpts from "Daphnis and Chloe"
    The London Symphony Orchestra and Chorus with conductor Valery Gergiev
    Barbican Hall, London, England

hour 2

  • Pius Cheung
    Etude No. 2 in C-sharp Minor
    Pius Cheung, marimba
    Ramsey Concert Hall, Athens, Georgia
  • Ottorino Respighi
    "The Birth of Venus" from "Three Botticelli Pictures"
    The Long Beach Symphony Orchestra with conductor JoAnn Falletta
  • Mike Garson
    Gavotte ("Get-hot")
    Violinist Andres Cardenes and pianist Alpin Hong
    Strings Music Festival, Steamboat Springs, Colorado
  • Johannes Brahms
    Symphony No. 2 in D, Op. 73
    The Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra with conductor JoAnn Falletta
    Kleinhans Music Hall, Buffalo, New York
  • Levon Eroyan
    Variations on an Anatolian Tune
    Pianist Sahan Arzruni
    Merkin Concert Hall, New York City
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