2019-05-14 19:30 2019-05-14 21:30 60 Canada/Eastern 🎟 NAC: Canada’s NAC Orchestra at Cadogan Hall


Canada’s National Arts Centre Orchestra kicks off its 50th Anniversary European Tour in the United Kingdom led by renowned British Music Director Alexander Shelley.  London audiences will recognize Alexander Shelley as the Principal Associate Conductor of the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra.  Since becoming Music Director of the NAC Orchestra, Maclean‘s has credited Shelley for turning the orchestra “almost overnight… into one of the more audacious orchestras in...

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Cadogan Hall,London,United Kingdom
Tue, May 14, 2019


Ana Sokolović

Golden slumbers kiss your eyes…

Maurice RAVEL

Piano Concerto in G major

Born in Ciboure, Pyrénées-Atlantiques, France, March 7, 1875
Died in Paris, December 28, 1937

Ravel toyed with writing a piano concerto as early as 1906, according to one source, and again in 1914, but the actual composition of what became the Piano Concerto in G was undertaken between 1929 and 1931, interspersed with work on the Concerto for Left Hand. The first performance was given in Paris by the Lamoureux Orchestra on January 14, 1932. Ravel had originally intended to play the piano part himself, but because of declining health, he granted the solo role to the concerto’s dedicatee, Marguerite Long, while he conducted. Ravel and Long then set out on a 20-city tour of Europe with the concerto; Long recorded it as well, with the Portuguese conductor Pedro de Freitas Branco. 

A number of elements combined to influence the style and form of the Concerto. Music of the Basques is immediately evident in the opening bars, for instance, where the exuberant piccolo theme bears strong relation to the folksong style of the Basques. The second theme, played first by the piano, suggests the influence of neighbouring Spain. Ravel had spent much time in the Basque country during the summer and autumn of 1929, when he began to write the Concerto. Ravel’s Basque hometown of Ciboure (a tiny seacoast town on the Bay of Biscay where France and Spain meet) honoured him the following year, strengthening the composer’s ties to his homeland.

The jazz influence is even more pronounced, stemming from Ravel’s tour throughout the United States in 1928. He visited the jazz clubs of New Orleans and Harlem and no doubt heard, among others, Paul Whiteman’s orchestra. He struck up a mutually admiring friendship with George Gershwin. The influence of Gershwin’s Piano Concerto in F can be felt in Ravel’s Concerto, especially in the first movement with its “blue” notes, jazz harmonies and rhythms.

Ravel professed that “the music of a concerto should, in my opinion, be light-hearted and brilliant, and not aim at profundity or at dramatic effects.” In this respect, his Concerto in G succeeds splendidly, and Ravel liked to refer to it as a divertissement de luxe.

— Program notes by Robert Markow


Symphony No. 2


  • Conductor Alexander Shelley
  • jan-lisiecki-cr-christoph-koystlin
    Piano Jan Lisiecki
  • david-dq-lee
    Countertenor David DQ Lee
  • choir London Voices