Barber Knoxville: Summer of 1915*
Harrison Song of Quetzalcoatl
Ravel Ma mère l'Oye – ballet
This concert will be also be recorded for broadcast on BBC Radio 3 on Tuesday 20 April
Sir Simon Rattle and Barbara Hannigan travel from Ravel to Lou Harrison, by way of Varèse and Samuel Barber – four very different modern masters, each testing the boundaries of memory and myth.
‘I cannot resist that burning desire to go beyond those limits’ … Maurice Ravel crafted musical wonderlands, but his elegant dances throw troubling shadows. Meanwhile in the New World, strange gods lurk beyond the white picket fences. The 20th century was a time when music struck out for new frontiers, and there’s no more fearless explorer than Barbara Hannigan.
Hannigan has been called ‘the coolest soprano around’, and this is music that could have been created for her – whether it’s Barber’s nostalgic evocation of an idyllic middle-America, or Varèse’ sonic fever-dream. Sir Simon Rattle, meanwhile, voyages from Ravel’s enchanted garden to the primal thrills of Lou Harrison’s Aztec-inspired Song of Quetzalcoatl: music that still has the power to startle and amaze.
Streamed live from LSO St Luke's in COVID-secure conditions.