Each and every one of Pierre-Laurent Aimard’s visits to London constitutes a major event. The French pianist, garlanded with prizes from a young age and a founding member of the Ensemble InterContemporain, might well be his instrument’s finest interpreter of post-war music. In April 2016, he visits the Barbican for two successive performances of Messiaen, one of his favourite composers.
First, on the 14th, Aimard will join another legend – Sir Simon Rattle – to head the London Symphony Orchestra through Messiaen’s Couleurs de la cite céleste (1964), a short piece for piano and wind ensemble that meshes Gregorian chant, Indian rhythms and bird calls to create a truly otherworldly sound-world. This will give way to the full orchestra’s rendition of Bruckner’s Symphony No. 8 (1984-92), a colossal work and the magnificent culmination of its author’s symphonic project.
Two days later, in the Milton Court Concert Hall, Aimard will take to the stage unaccompanied in an equally vast masterwork, Messiaen’s Vingt regards sur l’enfant Jésus (1944). Demanding immense stamina and acumen from its players, the cycle is both intimate and cosmic, summoning the heights of spiritual power through its interconnected motifs and themes. Although Aimard’s night with the LSO looks to be special, it is this recital that promises to be a once-in-a-lifetime experience.
|What||Pierre-Laurent Aimard, Barbican|
|Where||Barbican Centre, Silk Street, London, EC2Y 8DS | MAP|
|Nearest tube||Barbican (underground)|
On 14 Apr 16, 7:30 PM – 10:30 PM
On 16 Apr 16, 7:30 PM – 10:00 PM
|Website||Click here to book via the Barbican website|