Sunday 21 Jan 2018, 3pmRoyal Festival Hall, London
Philharmonia Box Office : 020 7921 3907
Pablo Heras-Casado conductor
Pierre-Laurent Aimard piano
Debussy Prélude à l'après-midi d'un faune
Ravel Piano Concerto in G
Ravel Suite, Ma mère l'oye
Debussy La mer
The hazy afternoon of Debussy’s Prélude à l’après-midi d’un faune leads to a portrait of the ever-changing faces of the sea. Sketched from an imagination and ‘countless reminiscences’ that to Debussy, ‘matter more than a reality’, La mer captures the play of light on the water and the rhythmic pitter-patter of sea spray ‘to create a mysterious harmony between nature and the imagination’.
Channelled by pianist Pierre-Laurent Aimard, Ravel’s own ‘mysterious harmony’ infuses rich textures of jazz, blues and the Basque influences of his homeland. Buzzing from its percussive opening bars and rapid-fire arpeggios, the second movement opens out onto a deceptively simple, gorgeous lullaby before returning to an incredible finale, filled with percussive pyrotechnics from both piano and orchestra.