Thursday 30 May 2013, 7.30pmRoyal Festival Hall, London
Philharmonia Box Office : 020 7921 3907
Esa-Pekka Salonen conductor
Debussy Prélude à l'après-midi d'un faune
Varèse Amériques (rev. 1927, reduced orch)
Stravinsky The Rite of Spring
Tonight’s programme marks the centenary (29 May 1913) of one of the most famous premières in musical history: Stravinsky’s primitivist ballet The Rite of Spring. Showered throughout by a torrential hail of farmyard noises from the gallery, the whole thing ended in uproar with the young conductor, Pierre Monteux, and his musicians fleeing for their lives. Puccini, who was in the Paris audience that night, described it as ‘the creation of a madman.’ Yet Stravinsky claimed that he was merely ‘the vessel through which the Rite passed.’ Opening the concert is Debussy’s no less groundbreaking Prelude à l'après-midi d'un faune. ‘From that moment,’ wrote Pierre Boulez, ‘music began to beat with a new pulse’.