Britten “Four Sea Interludes”, from Peter Grimes*
Ravel Piano Concerto in G major
Debussy “The Sunken Cathedral”, from Preludes*
Debussy La Mer
*Indicates SPAC Premiere
A native of Indonesia and a Young Scholar of Lang Lang’s International Music Foundation, pianist Janice Carissa will make her SPAC debut performing Ravel’s Piano Concerto in G major on August 2. Also highlighting the evening under the baton of Stéphane Denève are the Four Sea Interludes from Britten’s opera Peter Grimes and Debussy’s “The Sunken Cathedral,” both appearing at SPAC for the first time.
Debussy’s musical innovations became closely associated with the Impressionist movement, a term that was initially used pejoratively in connection with Claude Monet’s paintings. Many of Debussy’s pieces were inspired by images and by nature. As he once remarked: “I am trying in some way to do ‘something different’—an effect of reality—what some imbeciles call ‘Impressionism,’ a term that is utterly misapplied, especially by the critics.” In La Mer he offers three meditations on the sea: “From Dawn to Midday at Sea,” “Play of the Waves,” and “Dialogue of the Wind and the Sea.”
- The Piano Concerto in G – deeply influenced by American jazz idioms and harmonies which were extremely popular during the 30s – was a massive success ever since it’s premiere, and saw its first North American performance given simultaneously on April 22, 1932 by both the Philadelphia Orchestra and Boston Symphony Orchestra.
- The Engulfed Cathedral is based on the ancient Breton legend of Ys, in which King Gradlon built a settlement on land reclaimed from the sea upon request from his daughter, princess Dahut. To protect Ys from flooding, a dike was built with a gate that was opened for ships during low tide, and the one key to the gate was held by the king. While the exact reason varies, Ys once again became submerged in the sea after the gates were unlocked.
- La Mer received little recognition during the composer’s lifetime, perhaps because it was neither a normal symphony nor a complete departure from one, rather, Debussy preferred to call it a set of ‘symphonic sketches’, or perhaps because of the scandal of Debussy leaving his wife for singer Emma Barduc.
Read more here:
- MAURICE RAVEL Piano Concerto in G major: http://dsso.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/03/RAVEL-Piano-Concerto-in-G.pdf
- The Story of Debussy’s “The Sunken Cathedral”: https://parkersymphony.org/debussy-the-sunken-cathedral
- Debussy – La Mer: https://www.classicfm.com/composers/debussy/music/debussy-la-mer/