classical music

1920s Paris, The Crazy Years: Pulcinella & Paris

Part of Classical Season 2019/20

This event has been cancelled as we are currently closed due to the coronavirus crisis.

In 1920s Paris, Stravinsky blurred the lines between classical and popular culture: City of London Sinfonia continues its Worlds Colliding series.

The composer’s Pulcinella introduced a decade of music which combined the surreal, the bohemian and the bizarre.

Darius Milhaud’s surrealist ballet Le Boeuf sur le Toit inspired the name of the bar where Jean Cocteau met his artistic acolytes from 1921.

Many of them contributed music and madness to Les Maries de la Tour Eiffel, the outlandish tale of a Bastille Day wedding atop the Eiffel Tower – a tale featuring a spontaneously appearing telegraph office, a man-eating lion and an existential ‘child of the future’.

City of London Sinfonia is also joined by broadcaster Sandi Toksvig OBE who tells original, whimsical interpretations of the stories that encapsulate the concert’s music and theme. Sandi’s monologues, written by sister Jenifer Toksvig, include an original, satirical take on the story of Stravinsky’s 1920 Ballet Russe Pulcinella as well as a comedic interpretation of Jean Cocteau’s strange and nonsensical plot of Les Mariés de la Tour Eiffel..


City of London Sinfonia
David Greilsammer conductor, piano
Sandi Toksvig presenter


Ravel: Pavane pour une infante défunte
Milhaud: Le boeuf sur le toit, ballet
Stravinsky: Pulcinella Suite
Jenifer Toksvig: Monologues on the concert's music and theme, narrated by Sandi Toksvig
Les Six: Ouverture, le 14 juillet (Auric); Valse des dépêches (Tailleferre); La baigneuse de Trouville (Poulenc) from Les Mariés de la Tour Eiffel
Poulenc: Piano Concerto in C sharp minor

Dates & times

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Queen Elizabeth Hall


£10 - £30
Booking fee: £3.50 (Members £0.00)
£10, £20, £30


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