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Origin Stories: Daphnis and Chloé

Southbank Centre: Royal Festival HallBelvedere Road, London, Greater London, SE1 8XX, Vereinigtes Königreich
Datum/Zeit in London Zeitzone
Donnerstag 10 Juni 202119:30

Passing the baton

Esa-Pekka Salonen has been part of the life of the Philharmonia since he stepped in at short notice to conduct in Mahler’s Symphony No. 3, way back in 1983.

This concert marks the end of Esa-Pekka’s remarkable 13-season tenure as Principal Conductor & Artistic Advisor. He signs off with a typically fascinating programme, culminating in a true masterpiece, loved by both conductor and orchestra.

Thank you, EP.

In his final London concert as Principal Conductor of the Philharmonia Orchestra, Esa-Pekka Salonen completes his survey of musical retellings of Greek myths. He contrasts works by two French composers who lived two centuries apart, and new music of his own.

Castor and Pollux are twins: one is human, the other immortal. And both are in love with the same woman. Rameau’s suite from his 1737 opera is made up of expressive incidental music and elegant courtly dances. Salonen’s own Gemini consists of two short pieces, “independent but genetically linked”. He describes Pollux as “slow and quite dark”, whereas Castor is “extroverted and quite fast”.

The story of Daphnis and Chloé, taken from a second-century novel, is another examination of the trials of love. Commissioned by Diaghilev for the Ballets Russes, Ravel’s ballet music is widely considered his finest masterpiece. Rich, imaginative orchestral textures transport the listener to a magical world of shepherdesses, goatherds, gods – and pirates.

© Mika Ranta
© Mika Ranta
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