Vasily Petrenko Conductor Arabella Steinbacher Violin Royal Philharmonic Orchestra Programme Journeys of Discovery: Psychedelia Jennifer Higdon blue cathedral Prokofiev Violin Concerto No.2 Berlioz Symphonie Fantastique Dukas and Tchaikovsky spirit us away into worlds of sorcerers and ghosts, while
Vasily Petrenko Conductor
Arabella Steinbacher Violin
Journeys of Discovery: Psychedelia
Jennifer Higdon blue cathedral
Prokofiev Violin Concerto No.2
Berlioz Symphonie Fantastique
Dukas and Tchaikovsky spirit us away into worlds of sorcerers and ghosts, while Elgar’s bittersweet concerto grounds us in the fragility of life.
Right from jaunty trio of bassoons that dance the first theme of Sorcerer’s Apprentice, Dukas offers us a masterclass in orchestral colour. Each episode of Goethe’s ballad is imagined in playful detail, from the march of the brooms to the raucous mayhem that ensues.
Elgar’s concerto brings us back to the somber realities of life. Part lament for the First World War, and written in the autumn of his life, it yearns for a simpler, untainted past. It is a moment of contemplation in an otherwise energetic programme.
The writer Harold Schonberg once described Tchaikovsky’s music being ‘as emotional as a scream from a window on a dark night.’ His Manfred Symphony is a perfect example. In Byron’s dramatic poem and ghost story, Manfred is a man tormented by guilt and remorse who uses the dark arts to summon spirits to help him forget his past and escape his fate.
Tchaikovsky’s fateful music makes the perfect partner for Manfred’s travails while also delighting in his escapes into fantasy. The work contains both the lightest, most impressionistic moments and the loudest climax he ever wrote.
Royal Festival Hall
Southbank Centre, Belvedere Rd, Lambeth, London SE1 8XX