John Wilson – conductor
Louis Schwizgebel – piano
Božidar Smiljanić – bass-baritone
Crouch End Festival Chorus
Gershwin Cuban Overture
Ravel Piano Concerto in G
— Interval —
Walton Belshazzar's Feast
An upbeat first half heady with the rhythms of American jazz and Cuban dance contrasts with Walton’s dramatic Old Testament tale.
Belshazzar’s Feast tells of the fabulously wealthy and decadent city of Babylon, and the dramatic downfall of its godless ruler. Walton invokes a huge orchestra, eight-part choir, organ, and two brass bands. But it is the solo baritone, accompanied by eerie, whispering percussion, who describes the chilling moment when Belshazzar is accused by a disembodied hand writing on the wall.
Ravel’s concerto, inspired by the jazz he heard on a tour of the United States, frames a serenely beautiful Adagio with outer movements of carefree, effervescent energy. It’s the perfect showcase for Louis Schwizgebel’s imaginative, insightful playing.
In 1932, Gershwin holidayed in Cuba, for “two hysterical weeks… where no sleep was had”. He returned with a full set of Cuban percussion instruments, and put them straight to work in his Rumba-fuelled Cuban Overture.
Need to know
Prices & Discounts
£12 – £58 (premium)
Subscription discounts available; under-18s and concessions discounts available; £8 tickets for students via Student Pulse one month before the concert (limited availability)
1 hour 30 minutes, including 20 minute interval
Surtitles will be displayed
Philharmonia Box Office: 0800 652 6717