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Les Couleurs Exotiques de Ravel

Pietari Inkinen – conductor
Stephen De Pledge – piano

RAVEL La Valse – poeme choreographique
SCRIABIN The Poem of Ecstasy – Symphony No. 4
RAVEL  Piano Concerto in G major
RAVEL  Bolero

In Maurice Ravel’s music, we indulge in an excess of the sensual. The darkly brooding La Valse was inspired by the waltzes that once glittered in pre-war Vienna, while the Piano Concerto in G major, one of his last compositions, takes its cues from the heady jazz that intoxicated Paris in the 1920s. In Bolero we are slowly enveloped by the Spanish heat. Like Ravel, Alexander Scriabin’s music is a myriad of nuanced colours.  His luscious Poem of Ecstasy, composed under the sign of the Symbolists, is a work that exults in music’s capacity to transport us to an infinity of other realms.

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With liquid lyricism, Ravel’s concerto comes to life in the warm and generous hands of New Zealand pianist Stephen De Pledge. A performer whose abundant musicianship invites audiences into the most intimate moments of music, his interpretation of Ravel is a joy to witness. In Scriabin’s Poem of Ecstasy, the orchestra is given free range to enjoy its voluptuous and enfolding phrases, while in La Valse, the ravages of war distinctly distort Ravel’s swirling melodies. Bolero is the perfect ending, encasing us in a satisfying wave of sound.

Duration: Aprox 132 min including 20 min interval


Stephen De Pledge... is a disarmingly relaxed and sunny performer; the difficult double articulations shivered under his hands and his switches of weight were like quicksilver. The Times
At the end the performance was greeted by a standing ovation of an intensity unprecedented in my experience. 2012 Dominion Post review of NZSO Die Walküre conducted by Pietari Inkinen
Formidable … left me wanting to hear more Sunday Times on Stephen De Pledge
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