Shipping now – LSO Live has been filming concerts in the Orchestras Barbican home since 2012 and are proud to bring these acclaimed performances to DVD & Blu-ray for the first time. Recorded in January 2016, this beautiful programme of French music was chosen by Music Director Designate Sir Simon Rattle and features world class soloists Leonidas Kavakos and Julia Bullock.
Book-ending this concert are two works by the master of orchestral texture, Maurice Ravel. ‘Le tombeau de Couperin’, an expertly orchestrated version of a 1914-17 piano piece, brings sharpness to the original’s classical dance rhythms. The work calls for an oboe soloist of virtuosic skill, expertly handled here by LSO Principal Olivier Stankiewicz. Sir Simon closed the concert with the ever-popular second suite from ‘Daphnis et Chloé’.
Following Stankiewicz’s display of woodwind mastery, violinist Leonidas Kavakos presents his interpretation of a modern classic, Henri Dutilleux’s violin concerto ‘L’arbre des songes’. Composed between 1983 and 1985, the title translates as ‘The Tree of Dreams’ and the work is based on a process of continual growth and renewal, as the composer explained: ‘All in all the piece grows somewhat like a tree, for the constant multiplication and renewal of its branches is the lyrical essence of the tree.’ Rattle also presents a second work by Dutilleux, ‘Métaboles’ from 1964. Written for George Szell and the Cleveland Orchestra, it is a diverse sequence of orchestral études given symphonic coherence by stealthy motivic evolution.
Rounding out the programme, American soprano Julia Bullock shines in Maurice Delage’s ‘Quatre poèmes hindous’. Written in 1912 for a chamber ensemble of two flutes, oboe, two clarinets, harp and string quartet, this hidden gem has been described as ‘one of the first attempts to introduce the melodic and rhythmic forms of Indian music to the language of Western music’.
“An all-French programme was played to perfection, with Leonidas Kavakos a superbly articulate soloist”. The Guardian****
“Julia Bullock was ideally attuned to the sensual inflections of the vocal line [Quatre poèmes hindous] and Rattle ensured a thoughtful response from the dozen-strong LSO.” Classical Source
“Thrilling Rattle and virtuoso orchestra are perfect partners. Simon Rattle conducted the LSO in an innovative French programme that from first to last had the ring of authenticity.” The Evening Standard*