"It might seem reductive to limit a musician to national specialities, but having heard Denève’s Berlioz, Debussy and Roussel in concert, his captivating disc of Poulenc with the Stuttgart orchestra he commands and now his Ravel, I can honestly say there’s no conductor alive I’d rather hear in French music."
Le tombeau de Couperin, suite for orchestra
Cello Concerto No. 1 in A Minor, Op. 33
Symphony No. 3 in G Minor, Op. 42
La Valse, a choreographic poem for orchestra
Sergei Diaghilev’sBallets Russes (The Russian Ballets), which began to perform in Paris in the 1910s, made a profound effect on many prominent composers. It was also a source of inspiration for Maurice Ravel (1875–1937), who lived in Paris. He composed La valse, poème chorégraphique pour orchestre (a choreographic poem for orchestra) from December 1919 until March 1920. Ravel explored the poetry of waltz earlier in his Valses nobles et sentimentales from 1911. La valse actually quotes from one of these waltzes. Its orchestration has such strong Impressionist character that it sometimes obscures the essence of this composition as a dance.
Ravel described La valse “as a kind of apotheosis of the Viennese waltz, with which is mingled in my mind the fantastic whirl of destiny. Set in an imperial court, about 1855. Through whirling clouds, waltzing couples may be faintly distinguished. The clouds gradually scatter: one sees an immense hall peopled with a whirling crowd.” Diaghilev, however, did not accept the composition, and the relationship between the two artists was permanently damaged. The “choreographic poem” premiered on 12 December 1920 at a concert of the Orchestre de Colonne conducted by Camile Chevillard.
Wed – Fri / 6:30 p.m. / Rudolfinum – Suk Hall or Western Lounge
Location is specified for each concert in the concert programme and navigation signs at the Rudolfinum.
Pre-concert talks are offered free of charge as a bonus before the evening concerts of the A and B subscription series. They are given by conductors, soloists and members of the Czech Philharmonic, as well as musicologists and music writers who take part in discussions or lectures which will prepare for the evening concert.
They are presented by Eva Hazdrová-Kopecká, Pavel Ryjáček or Petr Kadlec.
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