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Colour & Movement
Ravel’s Bolero

Chief Conductor David Robertson celebrates the spirit of the dance, from the village squares of Transylvania to the electricity of Ravel's Bolero.

Ravel's Bolero is one big crescendo, building inexorably over a mesmerising drum beat, unfolding in increasingly rich combinations of orchestral colour until it reaches its electrifying climax. What better way to end a concert! But how to begin? David Robertson balances Ravel's dance-orgy with music inspired by folk dances: Ligeti's toe-tapping Romanian Concerto – its finale once described as 'a dance between a mosquito and fly-swatter'. And for Ravel's colours he finds a parallel in the luxuriant and impressionist sounds of Bartók's Hungarian-inspired orchestral pieces. But the real highlight is something new: Spirit of the Wild, a concerto composed for our Principal Oboe by Nigel Westlake (Babe, Paper Planes). 'It's full of rhythmic drive and beautiful harmonies,' says Diana Doherty, 'it has the whole spectrum.'


Pre-concert talk by Yvonne Frindle in the Northern Foyer 45 minutes before each performance.
The concert will conclude at approximately 8.15pm (Wed), 3.15pm (Thu), 9.45pm (Fri).

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  • Principal Partner Emirates