Baltasar Samper: Ritual de pagesia (Peasant Ritual). Symphonic Suite (1935) 9′
Sergei Rachmaninoff: Piano Concerto No. 4 in G minor, Op. 40 (1926) 26′
Igor Stravinsky: The Rite of Spring – 35′
Barcelona Symphony Orchestra (OBC)
Francesco Piemontesi, piano
Ludovic Morlot, conductor
This concert showcases three very contrasting scenarios in early twentieth century music.
Firstly, 1930s Barcelona. Ritual de pagesia (Peasant Ritual) is a piece inspired by Majorcan working songs. Baltasar Samper premiered it with the orchestra that made the Catalan capital a world musical centre, the Pau Casals Orchestra.
We then head to the US, a land that has welcomed many immigrants. Sergei Rachmaninoff took his Piano Concerto No 4 from his native Russia to Philadelphia. Here, far from the pressures his colleagues faced, the composer premiered this concerto, which reveals jazz influences.
Lastly, Paris at the dawn of the century. The French capital was a bustling meeting point for artists of every description, who profoundly changed the cultural scene. If there is a single piece of music that exemplifies this moment, one that caused a real scandal, it is Igor Stravinsky’s The Rite of Spring.