After a long white night in a Finnish sauna, Gergiev sat down with me again the following afternoon beside a lake for what he described as ‘the longest interview I have given in ten years’. We recorded two hours and would have kept going but he was late, as ever, for rehearsal and he needed to change out of the casual Arsenal shirt he was wearing (gift from an oligarch, ‘I hardly know him) into something less distracting.
No topic was off limits. We discussed the precise nature of his relationship with Vladimir Putin, his casual attitude to time-keeping, his core human and musical relationships and, fundamental to all else, his driving motivations.
You can hear it on the Lebrecht Interview this Monday at 10.15pm London time, and streamed all week on site.
A longer cut of the conversation may run later in the year.