Esa-Pekka Salonen conducts the Philharmonia Orchestra
In his final London concert as Principal Conductor of the Philharmonia Orchestra, Esa-Pekka Salonen conducts a masterpiece close to his heart: Ravel’s Daphnis and Chloe.
Royal Festival Hall, Southbank Centre, Belvedere Road, London SE1
Completing his survey of musical retellings of Greek myths, Salonen 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 Chloe, 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.
Esa-Pekka Salonen – conductor
RAMEAU Castor and Pollux Suite
SALONEN Gemini (European premiere)
— Interval —
RAVEL Daphnis and Chloé (complete ballet)