For their first appearance, on Thursday 14th, they will devote their energies to two of Igor Stravinsky’s most celebrated early pieces. First up is Petruskha (1910-1; revised 1947), which matches the composer’s expressionist rhythms with pirouettes of orchestral colour. After an interval, the tone will take a more foreboding turn with The Rite of Spring (1914), with its stabbing horns and cubistic structure.
On Saturday 16th, the orchestra will move ahead to one of the post-war era’s most titanic works, Olivier Messiaen’s Turangalîla-Symphonie (1946-8). From its fearsome introduction, with its broken atonal blasts, we move through passionate love songs, frenzied dances and unspeakably gentle themes to an ecstatic finale. Loosely based on the Tristan and Isolde story, this has come to be seen as one of the definite symphonies of the twentieth century.
Finally, on Sunday 17th, Dudamel is joined by a presence even more charismatic than himself – Daniel Barenboim. The great musician and conductor, who has served as Dudamel’s mentor, will take to the keys to play Brahms’ two Piano Concertos. Opinion is divided on which of these two masterworks reigns supreme. The first (1858), with its sheer grandeur, burns with a youthful genius; the second (1978-81), all understated grace, is a piece of remarkable complexity. In the hands of Barenboim and Dudamel, they are both likely to be revelatory. If you book only one of these three concerts, choose this.
|What||Simon Bolivar Symphony Orchestra, Royal Festival Hall|
Royal Festival Hall
Southbank Centre, Belvedere Road, London, SE1 8XX | MAP
|Nearest tube||Waterloo (underground)|
On 14 Jan 16, 7:30 PM – 10:00 PM
On 16 Jan 16, 7:30 PM – 10:00 PM
On 17 Jan 16, 7:30 PM – 10:00 PM
|Website||Click here to book via the Southbank Centre|