Béla Bartók: Contrasts (violin, clarinet and piano)
Béla Bartók: Suite, The Wooden Prince
Béla Bartók: Dance Suite
Béla Bartók: Piano Concerto No.2
Esa-Pekka Salonen and the Philharmonia continue their series exploring the life and works of Béla Bartók with a performance of Bartók's music to The Wooden Prince, as well as Contrasts, a work originally written for Benny Goodman to perform.
For Bartók the world of fairytale was often a dark and dangerous one. The mysterious Mandarin dies in a violent sexual frenzy, Bluebeard's castle is a living prison. Only in the ballet The Wooden Prince, written between 1914 and 1917, did Bartók allow love to triumph over adversity, in a far-off land of forests and fairies.
In this world of enchantment and infatuation, the princess heroine ultimately discards her beloved Wooden Prince doll, and learns to love the real prince, the power of human emotion overwhelming the jealous fairy's mischief.
The Wooden Prince was a huge success at its première, and is notable for its extraordinarily large orchestral forces, the biggest Bartók ever wrote for.
This evening's performance features the orchestral suite from the ballet music, alongside the percussive sonorities of the Second Piano Concerto, the seminal chamber work Contrasts and the folk rhapsody of the Dance Suite.
Royal Festival Hall at 6pm - Malcolm Gillies introduces the evening's programme. FreePerformers
Esa-Pekka Salonen conductor
Yefim Bronfman piano
Zsolt-Tihamer Visontay violin
Mark van de Wiel clarinet