Picture Perfect

Performance in TheGallery / in Poole Lighthouse

Wednesday 07 March 2018

7.30pm, Lighthouse, Poole

A live performance by Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra, sponsored by the Arts University Bournemouth. The performance Picture Perfect, will feature the music of Debussy, Ravel and Mussorgsky.

Rapsodie espagnole, Ravel’s first published orchestral work, is Spanish to the core, subtly and brilliantly evoking the sights, sounds and physical sensations of this “perfumed land that the sun caresses.” This is music at once coolly intellectual and passionately sensuous, which justifies its composer’s reputation as a musical Impressionist. The tension built up through the restraint of the first three movements is released with fervent abandon in the finale – Ravel’s pulsating rhythms combining with full-bodied instrumentation conjures up the brilliance, commotion and joyous confusion of a Spanish festival, offering the composer splendid opportunities for dazzling orchestral effects and colours. Ravel’s admirers had long been waiting for him to compose a piano concerto. When he finally took up the form, in his mid-fifties, he worked on two at once. They were among the last compositions he ever completed.

The G Major Concerto sparkles with energy and a sense of spontaneity, but it is far from casual in its sourcing and craftsmanship, drawing upon Basque and Spanish melodies, jazz riffs, the influences of Mozart and Saint-Saëns, and even his childhood fascination with mechanical toys. Thirty years after Debussy wrote his Tarantelle styrienne for piano, Ravel created an orchestral version of the sprightly work, publishing it under the title Danse. Working like an orchestral painter he brings additional intensity and exuberance to the original harmonies and textures of light and shade. Pictures at an Exhibition is, in part, Mussorgsky’s musical homage to a talented friend, inspired by a visit to a posthumous exhibition. One of Mussorgsky’s great gifts was the ability to capture the essence of a character, mood, or scene in brief, striking musical imagery. His imagination goes far beyond the immediate visual stimulus of the paintings, which are brought into even more vivid detail through Ravel’s orchestral magic.

Booking Information

Pictures at an Exhibition

Pictures at an Exhibition will present the work of the second and third year students while focusing on the composers, Modest Mussorgsky and Maurice Ravel, creating illustrations inspired by their composition, Pictures at an Exhibition, performed by the BSO.

The concert programme comprises works by Ravel (Impressionism) to include his orchestration of the featured composition with the domestic arrangements are largely covered by the BSO. The exhibition will consist of a video piece responding to the life and work of Ravel, together with the series of prints from the program. The prints have been specifically commissioned for the production and will each correspond to a different aspect or event in Ravel’s life. Each program will be A3 in size and contain six bespoke printed images.