The second half began with the UK premiere of Sofia Gubaidulina's The Rider on the White Horse. I had pondered that this might have something to do with Marshal Zhukov's ride during the 1945 Victory Parade in Moscow, especially since Gubaidulina studied under Shostakovich for a time and it would therefore carry an anti-Stalin resonance. But according to the programme notes, it's taken from a longer piece, St John Easter, and is based on the first of the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse from the Book or Revelation. Certainly the piece had an apocalyptic air to it, though some passages were more spectral and melodic. I enjoyed the previous Gubaidulina piece I'd heard at the Proms several years ago, The Light of the End, and I liked this one too.
Finally, we had another trusty war-horse: Ravel's orchestration of Mussorgsky's Pictures at an Exhibition. Actually, I have CDs of the Stokowski and Henry Wood orchestrations, but not the Ravel, so it was rather fresher for me than might have been expected. Gergiev came perilously close to joining in with the Ballet of the Unhatched Chicks, and there were some grunts throughout. He's not one of my favourite conductors, but there's no denying this was a cracking programme and an excellent performance.