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Cancelled: Vasily Petrenko conducts Tchaikovsky

Tuesday October 6, 2020 at 19:30
Royal Festival Hall, London
£50, £40, £30, £20, £10
Phone for tickets: 020 3879 9555
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  1. Prélude à l'après-midi d'un faune - Claude Debussy
  2. Verklärte Nacht, for string orchestra (1943 revision) - Arnold Schoenberg
  3. Act 2, from The Nutcracker, with live projected illustrations in sand Op 71 - Pyotr Tchaikovsky

Art and music come together in the opening concert of the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra’s 2020-21 series at Southbank Centre’s Royal Festival Hall. Tchaikovsky's The Nutcracker is given a striking new treatment with breathtaking skill by sand artist Marina Sosnina, as music from Act II is complemented with beautiful illustrations created live in the Hall. Using her hands to work the sand, she follows the journey of the ballet, portraying many of its most familiar scenes.

Without a doubt one of the most enchanting works of Romanticism to have ever been written, Debussy’s symphonic poem Prélude à l'après-midi d'un faune casts a serene spell upon the listener. The mythical faun is represented by a drifting, chromatic flute melody, before falling into dreamlike fantasies as the Orchestra conjures idyllic visions with experimental tonality, passing themes between the woodwind instruments that blend with fantastical delight.

On the cusp of the twentieth century, Schoenberg composed a work that strongly echoes the late Romantic style of Wagner and, at the same time, marked how the course of music would be shaped in the future. Later revised for string orchestra in 1943, Verklärte Nacht is marked by the rich use of expressive harmonies that are destabilised by abrupt shifts in tone throughout, overcome with restlessness and a search for meaning. The piece provides a beautiful companion to the sense of child-like wonder evoked in The Nutcracker.

Royal Festival Hall
Belvedere Road
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