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Salonen and Bartók Concertos | Philharmonia Orchestra

Sunday February 24, 2019 at 19:35
Royal Festival Hall, London
£58 (premium); £45; £36; £28; £19; £12
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  1. The Oceanides Op 73 - Jean Sibelius
  2. Concerto for cello and orchestra - Esa-Pekka Salonen
  3. Concerto for Orchestra - Bela Bartók

Esa-Pekka Salonen conducts his own Cello Concerto alongside Bartók’s Concerto for Orchestra, rich in influences from Bach fugues to Hungarian folk dances.

Esa-Pekka Salonen wrote his Cello Concerto for his friend Yo-Yo Ma, who gave its first performances in 2017. With a conductor’s insight into the inner workings of the orchestra and a characteristically fearless attitude to innovation, Salonen has created a piece that stretches the cellist’s technique to its limits and holds the listener’s attention from start to finish.

“The cello does battle with a swirling orchestra, a hyperactive set of bongos, and even, through live tape looping, its own shadow” (New York Times).

Bartòk had composed nothing for four years and was sick in hospital in New York when Serge Koussevitsky asked him to write a new piece for the Boston Symphony Orchestra. The commission gave him a new lease of life, and seven weeks later he had completed the Concerto for Orchestra. This vibrant work gives each section of the orchestra a chance to shine, and is rich with influences from throughout Bartòk’s career, from Bach fugues to Hungarian folk dances.

Royal Festival Hall
Belvedere Road
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