Marianne Crebassa mezzo soprano
BERIO Folk Songs
FRANCO DONATONI ESA (In cauda V)
RESPIGHI Pini di Roma
Intoxicating Andalusian landscapes, 1001 wondrous Arabian nights, beautiful folk songs, and the city of Rome magnificently brought to life. All in one unmissable concert.
Opening the programme with a mosaic of illusions and dream-like fragments, Ibéria sees Debussy at his most Impressionist, hinting with richly expressive colours at the intoxicating atmosphere of hot nights in Andalusia - folk dances and the sounds of village life float like echoes in the air.
Debussy's luxurious orchestral palette caught the imagination of a young Ravel, who builds a world of mystery and desire in Shéhérazade, capturing his fascination with the exotic Arabian tales through tranquil but sensuous soundscapes. Soprano Marianne Crebassa returns following her acclaimed performance in her Philharmonia debut at the BBC Proms: "I've rarely heard a singer make a more poised, polished or delectable Proms debut than the young French mezzo Marianne Crebassa did in this sensuous song cycle. She seems to have everything." The Times.
Outside the world of veiled French Impressionism, Respighi's masterpiece paints four musical scenes in thrilling detail. From an innocent beginning of children playing, the music suddenly takes a turn to the dramatic, with an ominous melody depicting gloomy catacombs moving to a gentle nocturne and the recorded sound of a nightingale. Finally, a musical celebration: a victorious Roman legion returning home along the pine-lined road, as the huge orchestra is joined by additional jubilant brass.
Before, Berio's Folk Songs are an intimate reflection on love, written as "a tribute to the extraordinary artistry" of his then-wife, singer Cathy Berberian. Starting in America with Black Is the Colour (Of My True Love's Hair) the music travels the world with an almost improvised feel, showing Berio's emotional attachment to folk music "When I work with that music I am always caught by the thrill of discovery."
At the heart of the programme, ESA, by Berio's contemporary Franco Donatoni has a deeply personal significance. Dictated to his students on his deathbed, Donatoni's piece, dedicated to and named after Salonen, dances with an unexpected positivity, before simply fading away with a witty gesture. In Salonen's words, this is "goodbye, but leaving with a smile rather than in tears".
The Philharmonia Orchestra is a world-class symphony orchestra for the 21st century, led by Principal Conductor & Artistic Advisor Esa-Pekka Salonen.
The Orchestra's home is Southbank Centre's Royal Festival Hall, London, where it presents over 50 performances each year. Six other residencies across the UK bring the Philharmonia to a wide national audience. Internationally, the Philharmonia is active across Europe, Asia and the USA.
The Philharmonia was founded in 1945. It has been self-governing since 1964 and is owned by its 80 members. Salonen has been Principal Conductor since 2008. Jakub Hrusa and Santtu-Matias Rouvali are Principal Guest Conductors and honorary conductor positions are held by Christoph von Dohnányi and Vladimir Ashkenazy.
Royal Festival Hall stands at the heart of Southbank Centre complex. Opened in 1951 as part of the Festival of Britain, the Hall is one of the world's leading performance venues. As well as the auditorium, the building consists of The Clore Ballroom, Southbank Centre Shop, several places to eat and drink, and the Saison Poetry Library.www.southbankcentre.co.uk
These events have recently been added and have discounted tickets available