Time Dances - Xian Zhang Conducts Strauss & Ravel
In her English Chamber Orchestra debut, one of the 21st century’s most dynamic conductors presents a dance to the music of time.
When composers look back across the centuries, they always say something distinctive about their own time too.
Richard Strauss and Thomas Adès look back to the early 18th century, and find both timeless beauty and an elusive sensuality.
Maurice Ravel uses a classical lens to remember the tragedy of the Great War.
It’s an imaginative programme from the Chinese conductor Xian Zhang – making her first ever appearance with the orchestra.
Her rise has been one of classical music’s most exciting stories in recent years, and critics in the USA have thrilled to her intensely communicative style, as well as (according to one) ‘the energy she brings to the podium and the sense of excitement she instils in the orchestra’.
So imagine her in Thomas Adès’ Three Couperin Studies – Baroque music reinvented as a playful, endlessly subtle game of mistaken identities – as well as Richard Strauss’ very different take on the same delightful music.
And then into the enchanted world of Maurice Ravel’s Mother Goose – a book of children’s fairytales told in ravishing orchestral pastels, with just a hint of a very grown-up sophistication.
‘Sometimes music can take words further and give you room to think,’ says Zhang.
Finishing with Le tombeau de Couperin – which constructs a poignant, very personal war memorial to the graceful lilt of old dance tunes – this concert gives her the chance to prove exactly that.
- Thomas Adès 3 Studies from Couperin
- R Strauss Excerpts from Dance Suite for chamber orchestra after keyboard pieces by Couperin
- Ravel Ma mère l'oye (Mother Goose) Suite arr. for orchestra
- Ravel Le tombeau de Couperin
- Xian Zhang