Watch on demand: Salonen conducts Ravel and Britten
Esa-Pekka Salonen – conductor
Julia Bullock – soprano
Ravel Pavane pour une infante défunte
Britten Les illuminations
Ravel Mother Goose (complete ballet)
Read the programme notes here
The 2020/21 season is Esa-Pekka Salonen’s last as Principal Conductor & Artistic Advisor of the Philharmonia, a position he has held since 2008. For his first concert in this landmark season he has invited outstanding American soprano Julia Bullock to make her Philharmonia and Royal Festival Hall debut.
At the heart of the programme is Britten’s Les Illuminations, a setting of nine poems by Rimbaud. Britten’s expressive writing for voice and strings, and Rimbaud’s vivid and fantastical texts, lure us into an unearthly, dreamlike world.
Salonen and Bullock’s performance of this piece with the San Francisco Symphony was acclaimed as “something of a revelation… a performance of magnificent expansiveness” (San Francisco Chronicle).
To frame the Britten, Salonen has chosen two equally evocative pieces by Ravel. His Pavane imagines a princess of the Spanish Golden Age in a slow, graceful dance. And each exquisitely delicate movement of the 1912 ballet he created from his Mother Goose Suite paints a vivid fairytale scene.
Gentle flutes introduce Sleeping Beauty, sprightly percussion and woodwinds tell the story of the Empress of the Pagodas. Ravel’s unmatched talent for orchestration gives every member of the Philharmonia a chance to shine.
This concert is supported by Esa-Pekka Salonen.
Upcoming online concerts
Pekka Kuusisto – conductor
Nicola Benedetti – violin
John Suchet – presenter
- Beethoven Violin Concerto
- Beethoven Symphony No. 2
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Tickets go on general sale on Friday 2 October at 9.30am.