Richard Wagner: Eine Faust-Ouvertüre
Franz Liszt: Piano Concerto No.2 in A
Richard Wagner: Siegfried Idyll
Franz Liszt: Piano Concerto No.1 in E flat
Two of the world's greatest musical icons - Daniel Barenboim and Pierre Boulez - come together for a key concert that pairs Liszt's popular piano concertos with one of music's towering figures, Wagner. Barenboim's return to Royal Festival Hall follows his series of Beethoven Piano Sonatas in 2008, described as 'one of the great experiences of the year... if not the decade' by London Evening Standard. Joining them is the Staatskapelle Berlin, the refined orchestra of the Berlin State Opera.
Wagner's Faust Overture is a highly expressive rarity that conveys the restlessness of the soul - its aspirations and its struggles with destiny - through huge orchestration, expressive melodies and a dramatic finale. Liszt's Second Piano Concerto sees a move away from the virtuosic bombast that made the composer/pianist an idol of the 19th century. The work's originality comes from the subtle reappearance of melodies under different guises.
Siegfried Idyll is another of Wagner's few instrumental, non-operatic works. This symphonic poem incorporates both music from the love scene between Siegfried and Brunhilde in his opera Siegfried, and also a German lullaby. Wagner's own explanation of the work described a mother singing a boy to sleep and then contemplating what he will be like as a young man. The evening's concerts ends with Liszt's First Piano Concerto, a thrilling piece of piano theatre that shows off the soloist's virtuoso skill with an exciting range of soaring melodies and Romantic chutzpah.
Level 5 Function Room at Royal Festival Hall, 6.30pm - Ways In. The musical and personal relationship between Wagner and Liszt. Admission free, subject to availability.Performers
Pierre Boulez conductor
Daniel Barenboim piano