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Mikko Franck conducts Ravel’s “L’Enfant et les sortilèges”

Mikko Franck conducts Ravel’s “L’Enfant et les sortilèges”

Berliner Philharmoniker
Mikko Franck

Noah Bendix-Balgley, Emily Fons

  • Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
    Concerto for Violin and Orchestra No. 5 in A major, K. 219

    Noah Bendix-Balgley violin

  • Camille Saint-Saëns
    Introduction and Rondo capriccioso for violin and orchestra in A minor, op. 28

    Noah Bendix-Balgley violin

  • Maurice Ravel
    L’Enfant et les sortilèges (The Child and the Spells)

    Emily Fons mezzo-soprano, Sir Paul Gay bass baritone, Yvonne Naef contralto, Kiera Duffy soprano, Marie Lenormand mezzo-soprano, Mathias Vidal tenor, Elliot Madore baritone, Kanae Fujitani soprano, Rundfunkchor Berlin, Gijs Leenaars chorus master, Kinderchor der Komischen Oper Berlin, Dagmar Fiebach chorus master

The programme features a work of imagination, charm and humour: the opera L’Enfant et les sortilèges written by Maurice Ravel to a libretto by Colette and which is staged in the Berlin Philharmonie by director David Kneuss. In fantastic, magical images, the plot traces the development of a child, from his angry tantrums which damage his surroundings and consequently also himself, to a boy who is compassionate and self-aware. The composer set this story to music in the manner of an “American operetta” (Ravel). Like in a revue, he employs a wide range of musical styles one after another, from the neo-Baroque bicinium and bel canto arias to ragtime and music hall. Moreover, there is Ravel’s subtle, multifaceted orchestration which makes L'Enfant et les sortilèges one of his most impressive and most personal works. The conductor is Mikko Franck, who steps in for Seiji Ozawa.

In the first part of the concert Noah Bendix-Balgley is the focus of the musical action. Born in North Carolina, the musician has been concertmaster of the Berliner Philharmoniker since 2014. He opens the concert – without the participation of Mikko Franck– as the soloist in Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s A major Violin Concerto. The work is the last of the five violin concertos Mozart wrote between 1773 and 1775. It is characterised by the brilliance of the solo violin part, its original – often surprising – harmonies, and its folk music-based final theme. Ozawa then conducts Camille Saint-Saëns’ Introduction et Rondo Capriccioso, an equally atmospheric and highly virtuoso piece for violin and orchestra which the composer wrote for the famous violinist Pablo Sarasate.

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