Concert

London Symphony Orchestra

Sir Simon Rattle, conductor
Berlioz | Kidane | Ravel | Sibelius | Bartók

The genre of dance, complete with its variations and deconstructions is the theme of this concert by the London Symphony Orchestra under Sir Simon Rattle. The programme includes: the concert overture “Le Corsaire” by Hector Berlioz, whose vibrant character gives way to the rugged sounds of Daniel Kidane, whose “Sun Poem” is then followed by works from Maurice Ravel, Jean Sibelius and Béla Bartók.

A group of young dancers prepares for rehearsal on the left edge of the picture.

Group of Young Dancers from Edgar Degas’ “The Ballet Rehearsal”, 1874

© Musée d’Orsay, dist. RMN / Patrice Schmidt

Work introduction 19:10

A “symphonic fantasy” was what Jean Sibelius wanted to write in his Seventh Symphony: having originally conceived it in several parts, he melted the piece down into a single movement full of rugged contrasts, whose music he described with the words “joie de vivre and vitality, with appassionato sections”. Sir Simon Rattle, who grew up with Sibelius’s symphonies – “When I was growing up in Liverpool, they were omnipresent” – has chosen Sibelius’s last surviving symphony for the programme of his guest performance with the London Symphony Orchestra: “For me, Sibelius is one of the most original composers of all.” In the remaining programme, the London Symphony Orchestra, world famous for its soft and elegant sound, which Rattle has led as Principal Conductor since 2017, demonstrates its particular versatility. Following the vibrant opening of Hector Berlioz’s brilliantly orchestrated concert overture “Le Corsaire”, it will perform “Sun Poem” by the young British composer Daniel Kidane, whose music possesses a “beguilding range of sonorities” (Financial Times). There will also be a chance to hear Maurice Ravel’s “La Valse – Poème chorégraphique”, an apocalyptic swan song for the heyday of the Viennese waltz, and the expressionist dance suite “The Miraculous Mandarin” in which Béla Bartók captured the depths of the civilized world in sound with unremitting harshness. Its premiere in Cologne in 1926 led to the greatest theatrical scandal of the Weimar Republic, after which the Lord Mayor of the time, Konrad Adenauer, personally ensured that Bartók’s work was banned from the repertoire.

Concert Programme

Hector Berlioz (1803 – 1869)
Le Corsaire
Overture for orchestra op. 21 (1844)

Daniel Kidane (*1986)
Sun Poem (2022)
Commissioned by the London Symphony Orchestra
German Premiere

Maurice Ravel (1875 – 1937)
La Valse – Poème chorégraphique (1906 – 1920)

Jean Sibelius (1865 – 1957)
Symphony No. 7 in C major op. 105 (1924)

Béla Bartók (1881 – 1945)
The Miraculous Mandarin
Concert suite op. 19 (1917/27)

A Berliner Festspiele / Musikfest Berlin event