Claude Debussy: Prélude à l'après-midi d'un faune
Béla Bartók: Piano Concerto No.3
Béla Bartók: Duke Bluebeard's Castle
(semi-staged production with video projections)
The extraordinary Duke Bluebeard's Castle - Bartók's only opera - is widely regarded as his masterpiece. Its world is sinister, dark and deeply disturbing.
There are just two voices throughout, Duke Bluebeard and his new wife, Judith, and the entire one-act opera takes place in the hall of its castle. As Judith opens the hall's seven doors, one by one, each door reveals its own horror. In one, a torture chamber. In another, an armoury filled with bloody weapons. And in another, a garden where blood stains the plants' leaves. The final door opens and reveals Bluebeard's three former wives, who step forward and receive Judith into their eternally imprisoned group.
This is chilling, psychological drama - one of the great achievements of 20th century music. In this evening's concert it is paired with his final, unfinished work, the vigorous Third Piano Concerto.
Content may be unsuitable for children
Royal Festival Hall at 6pm - Malcolm Gillies introduces the evening's programme. FreePerformers
Esa-Pekka Salonen conductor
Yefim Bronfman piano
Sir John Tomlinson Bluebeard
Michelle DeYoung Judith
Juliet Stevenson narrator
Nick Hillel director