Images and Dreams

Colston HallBristol, South-West, BS1 5AR, United Kingdom
On Thursday 12 April 2018 at 19:30

The Symphonie fantastique is a work like no other. Its sound palette is unprecedented. Its forms are fresh. Its programme is grotesque. And the result is a composition that creates its own world in sound. The influence of Goethe, Beethoven and Shakespeare, plus the irrational love for Harriet Smithson, all worked on the mind of the twenty seven-year old Berlioz and what resulted was an amazingly fresh and wholly personal trip through sumptuous reveries and drug-induced dreams that lead ultimately to a death by beheading.

Mendelssohn’s Violin Concerto makes a journey from darkness to light. It begins restless and questing, sometimes mysterious and sometimes nostalgic but ends with a blaze of colour, and a mood of joy and exhilaration, sustained by witty virtuosic melodies and lively interplay between soloist and orchestra. The last part of his triptych Images, Debussy wanted to convey the joyousness of the countryside awakening to spring and decking itself in leaves and garlands. It is headed with the quotation “Long live May, welcome May, with its woodland banner!”

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