François-Xavier Roth & Kirill Gerstein
Information about the programme
The première of Stravinsky’s Rite of Spring, by Serge Diaghilev’s Ballets russes in 1913, proved to be one of the greatest scandals in music history. This barbaric ritual of a heathen sacrifice to spring, the pounding steps and twitching movements of the dancers, and the radically modern score left the audience bewildered and outraged. Two weeks after this expressionistic explosion Diaghilev and his company mounted Debussy’s Jeux, a “poème dansé” with which the French master pointed his impressionist tone-colours in the direction of modernism. François-Xavier Roth places his BRSO concert entirely beneath the banner of the early 20th-century avant-garde by joining these two forward-looking ballet scores with Arnold Schoenberg’s Piano Concerto, a late masterpiece in his revolutionary 12-note idiom, played by pianist Kirill Gerstein.