classical music
contemporary classical

Sir George Benjamin: A Duet and a Dream

Part of Contemporary Edit

One of Britain’s greatest living composers leads the Philharmonia Orchestra from the podium in an all-star performance.

In Dream of the Song, Benjamin looked to the vivid world of Andalusian poetry.

Writing for Bejun Mehta – ‘arguably the best countertenor in the world today’ (Süddeutsche Zeitung) – he pairs Arabic-inspired medieval poems with those of Federico García Lorca, creating a subtle sound-world of gentle choir murmurs and orchestral colours backing the solo voice.

In his words, ‘The poetry I chose abounds in imagery of stars and moonlight, and I wanted to try to capture a silvery tone for the whole piece.’

Janácek’s Sinfonietta completed the programme at the premiere of Dream of the Song in 2015 – the two works complement each other perfectly.

Janácek spins the opening fanfare into new colours and melodies, exploring fascinating harmonies in 20 thrilling minutes of music.

The piece ends in triumph when the fanfare returns in a glorious version for full orchestra.

In the first half, an atmospheric early work by Benjamin’s friend Oliver Knussen sets the scene for Messiaen’s interpretation of the song of the blue rock thrush, and Benjamin’s intricate Duet for Piano and Orchestra.

The Duet was written for tonight’s soloist Pierre-Laurent Aimard, a revered performer of 20th- and 21st-century music.

Performers

Philharmonia Orchestra
George Benjamin conductor
Pierre-Laurent Aimard piano
Bejun Mehta counter-tenor
Philharmonia Voices

Repertoire

Knussen: Choral
Messiaen: Le merle bleu (The blue rock thrush) from Catalogue d'oiseaux
George Benjamin: Duet for piano & orchestra
Interval
George Benjamin: Dream of the Song
Janáček: Sinfonietta

Dates & times

5 Mar 2020
Approximate run time: 115 mins
Run times may vary, find out more

where

Royal Festival Hall

Pricing

£12 - £45
Booking fee: £3.00 (Members £0.00)

Multi-buy discount

£12, £19, £28, £36, £45

Multi-buy discount
Book multiple Philharmonia Orchestra events in the same transaction and receive a discount: 3 – 5 events (10% discount); 6 – 8 events (15% discount); 9 – 11 events (20% discount); 12 – 14 events (25% discount); 15 or more events (30% discount). Events must be in the 2019/20 season. This discount is not available on Premium seats or on the Philharmonia’s Christmas concerts on 12 and 15 December 2019.

Concessions

25% off (limited availability)
Find out more about our Concessions policy

need to know

Age recommendation
For ages 7+

Ticketing

Multi-buy discount
Book multiple Philharmonia Orchestra events in the same transaction and receive a discount: 3 – 5 events (10% discount); 6 – 8 events (15% discount); 9 – 11 events (20% discount); 12 – 14 events (25% discount); 15 or more events (30% discount). Events must be in the 2019/20 season. Please note these savings exclude Christmas concerts (12 & 15 December 2019) and The English Patient (5 June 2020). Not available on Premium seats.

Related events
Royal Festival Hall at 6pm: Prior to this event, enjoy music by some of the most important post Second World War composers at Philharmonia Music of Today: Xenakis and Reimann.
Admission free.