Karina Canellakis conducts Ravel and Bartók
Orchestre de Paris
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American conductor Karina Canellakis (b. 1981) brings energy, precision, and expressiveness to two spectacular 20th-century favorites alongside an Orchestre de Paris in top form!
If the symphony is the abstract instrumental genre par excellence, why did Ravel, a formidable orchestrator, give the name “symphonie chorégraphique” to Daphnis et Chloé (1912)? Destined for the ballet stage and inspired by an ancient Greek romance about a young peasant couple who must navigate the troubled waters of love and romance, the lush and evocative work explores the possibilities of orchestration, mixing and alternating between different sections and instruments and resulting in a sonic explosion of color.
Thirty years later, Hungarian composer Béla Bartók explored the boundaries of another genre, juxtaposing two ostensibly contrary terms: concerto (musical form with one or more soloists) and orchestra (musical formation with no soloist). His Concerto for Orchestra (1943) includes folk melodies and rhythms from Bartók’s homeland, a theme from Shostakovich’s Seventh Symphony, and a canny repartition of material among groups of instruments (strings, woodwinds, brass and—characteristically, for Bartók—percussion). The score has been analyzed and interpreted from various perspectives, even as a five-moment expression of the five stages of grief (Beverly Lewis Parker).