French conductor and five-time Grammy winner Ludovic Morlot will be returning to lead the Barcelona Symphony Orchestra, , after last season’s success alongside Javier Perianes. He will be conducting an ambitious programme headed by Suite No. 2 from Daphnis and Chloé by Maurice Ravel, D’un matin de printemps by composer Lili Boulanger, and Bacchus et Ariane by Albert Roussel. All three are leading 20th century French symphonic works.
The programme will be rounded off by the magnificent Viola Concerto by Béla Bartók, a work premiered posthumously that reflects the Hungarian composer's ideas during the final stages of his life. It will be performed by Amihai Grosz, one of the world's most prestigious viola players and the Berlin Philharmonic's principal violist .
The classic world is an endless source of major themes relating to the human condition, and love is a favourite one. In Ancient Greek mythology, the legend of Bacchus and Ariadne recounts the tale of Ariadne's abandonment by Theseus in the Minotaur's labyrinth on the island of Naxos, and her capture and betrothal to Bacchus or Dionysus, accompanied by his retinue of satyrs. Based on this story, Albert Roussel composed the ballet Bacchus et Ariane (Bacchus and Ariadne), one of the most remarkable French orchestral works of the 1930s.
Daphnis and Chloe, written in the late 2nd century AD and considered to be the first pastoral novel, is the only work by Greek novelist Longus. In an idealised reflection of peasant life, a goatherd and a shepherdess from Lesbos manage to satisfy their passion for one another. Revisited musically on numerous occasions since the 18th century, the most accomplished portrait of this romance is Daphnis et Chloé, a "choreographic symphony" by Maurice Ravel, commissioned by Sergei Diaghilev and the Ballets Russes.
Lili Boulanger, Nadia Boulanger's younger sister and the first woman to win the Prix de Rome, composed D'un matin de printemps (Of a Spring Morning) shortly before her premature death at the age of twenty-four. It is a short symphonic poem with an Impressionist hallmark, suffused with joy, serenity and luminous vibrancy.
Ludovic Morlot, piano
An elegant, innovative conductor, Ludovic Morlot was the music director of the Seattle Symphony Orchestra for nine years, during which time it won several Grammys for its recordings. He is currently an associate artist and the artistic director of the BBC Philharmonic Orchestra and the National Youth Orchestra of China.
Amihai Grosz, viola
The principal violist of the Berlin Philharmonic, Amihai Grosz has had a two-fold career as a solo artist, accompanying major orchestras worldwide, and performing as a chamber musician. He is the founder of the Jerusalem Quartet and the artistic director of the International Chamber Music Festival Utrecht.
Aleix Palau | 27 September 2021
Ludovic Morlot and Amihai Grosz star in the OBC's forthcoming programme
French conductor Ludovic Morlot, the winner of five Grammy awards, will once again be leading the Barcelona Symphony Orchestra, conducting three major 20th century French symphonic works. The programme will also feature Amihai Grosz, one of the world's most prestigious viola players and the Berlin Philharmonic's principal violist.