Finnish conductor Esa-Pekka Salonen rehearses Debussy's La Mer with the Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra.
With a highly acclaimed performance of Mahler's Third Symphony Finnish conductor Esa-Pekka Salonen acquired worldwide fame at the tender age of 25. Within the following years he not only became the musical head of several festivals, but also guest-conductor of the Philharmonia Orchestra London and chief-conductor of the Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra. Salonen's appointment as musical director of the Los Angeles Philharmonic in the year 1992 is definitely one of the highlights in the career of this amazing musician. Together with the Los Angeles Philharmonic, the ambitious Finn realised many great concerts and released some fabulous recordings, mostly with 20th century music repertoire.
This program shows Salonen while rehearsing Claude Debussy's La Mer. There is a special connection between La Mer and the conductor, who is fascinated by the countless sound possibilities of the impressionistic work. He used some performances to experiment with the work's score, but admits that only due to long lasting and intense collaboration with the Los Angeles Philharmonic he had had the opportunity to really analyse the different elements of La Mer and to elaborate the whole symphonic composition by assembling the single parts again.
Featuring some of today’s leading conductors in rehearsal, this series gives a unique insight into the process of creating great music. The conductors’ very different styles and methods; the dialogue between an orchestra and an inspired interpreter; the intensity of the preparations for a concert performance; and the struggle towards perfection are captured in these revealing audio-visual records. Most episodes include a full run-through of the work rehearsed. All include interviews with the conductor who is seen at work, Valery Gergiev, Esa-Pekka Salonen, Roger Norrington, Pierre Boulez and Christoph von Dohnányi.
Jean-François Zygel's music lesson
Europakonzert 2003, Lisbon
Verbier Festival 2007