Sir Mark Elder conductor
Viktoria Mullova violin
Upper voices of the Hallé Youth Choir
Berlioz Overture: Les Francs Juges
Sibelius Violin Concerto
Ravel La Valse
Since her double triumph in the Sibelius and Tchaikovsky competitions in the early 1980s, Russian violinist Viktoria Mullova has carved an extraordinary career as one of the most adventurous and versatile artists around. This concert takes her back to Finland and the composer whose music announced her on the world stage. Sibelius was himself a violinist and brought his knowledge to bear on a concerto whose atmospheric opening immediately enthrals the listener, setting the violin’s searing intensity against a ruggedly beautiful soundscape. A trio of contrasting French masterpieces completes the programme, beginning with Berlioz’s Overture, Les Francs Juges, which displays his favoured dramatic extremes, making full use of a lavish orchestra. Debussy’s Impressionist Nocturnes are more nuanced, with slowly drifting clouds and the seductive voices of the sirens of Greek myth, contrasted with “Fêtes”, a lively carnival, flashing with colour. Finally, Ravel’s La Valse paints a delirious picture of pre-war Vienna, its iconic waltzes now transformed into a whirling vision of decadence.
Free pre-concert talk, 6.30pm in the auditorium: Sir Mark Elder introduces the programme.
Photo credit: Henry Fair
Venue: Royal Concert Hall
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