Ely Sinfonia plays Ravel, Gershwin and Saint-Saens
23 September 2023, 19:30
Ely Sinfonia plays Ravel, Gershwin and Saint-Saens.
Gershwin An American in Paris
Saint-Saens Organ Symphony
Steve Bingham, conductor
Anyone old enough to remember the 1984 winter Olympics (not to mention the countless replays) will never forget Torvill and Dean’s legendary performance to Ravel’s Bolero, when they won the highest ever figure skating score– straight sixes. For anyone else, it has to be one of the most thrilling pieces of music, in which Ravel builds on his mesmerising theme with clever orchestration and an amazing side drum part that’s an extraordinary feat of stamina.
After one of the most exciting starts to any concert, we travel to France with Gershwin’s An American in Paris, one of the lushest pieces to come out of the USA in the early twentieth century. Listen out for the sounds of the street, especially the taxi horns.
Finally, we bury ourselves in Saint-Saens’ organ symphony. “You ask for the symphony: you don’t know what you ask,” said the composer. “It will be terrifying . . . ” At the first performance the critics were unsure, but the audience loved the piece and Saint-Saens’ colleague Charles Gounod responded with “There goes the French Beethoven”. Come and decide what you think.
Tickets: £10, £20, £25.