Thursday 29 September 2011

The Fire of the Prometheus Legend

After my afternoon visit to The Barbican on Saturday 24th September 2011 I made my way to the Royal Festival Hall via the Central and Bakerloo lines for the London Philharmonic Orchestra's concert of The Prometheus Legend.

The programme consisted of The Creatures of Prometheus (excerpts) = Beethoven, Mar'eh for Violin and Orchestra - Pintscher, Prometheus (Symphonic Poem No.5) - Liszt and Prometheus, Poem of Fire - Scriabin.

The London Philharmonic Orchestra performed with Vladimir Jurowski - Conductor, Julia Fischer - Violin, Igor Levit - Piano, London Philharmonic Choir and Lucy Carter - Lighting Designer. The evening gave us three views of Prometheus and a new violin concerto.

In Greek mythology Prometheus was a Titan who stole fire from the gods, by capturing the sparks from their chariot wheels, and gave it to mankind. He was punished by being chained to a rock and having his liver eaten by an eagle until he was eventually rescued by Heracles.

The concert began with a brilliant performance of excerpts from Beethoven's early ballet The Creatures of Prometheus with Vladimir Jurowski and the Orchestra on top form. We were then treated to the UK premiere of Matthias Pintscher's Mar'eh for Violin and Orchestra as Julia Fischer and her violin mastered this difficult piece in triumphant style. Mar'eh is a Hebrew word that means face or sign. The composer says that it can also mean the aura of a face, a beautiful vision.

After the interval with the Orchestra now all dressed in white shirts and tops there was Liszt's Symphonic Poem No.5 before the dramatic finale of Scriabin's Poem of Fire complete with light show designed by Lucy Carter. With great support from the London Philharmonic Choir and Igor Levit on piano this was a very spectacular show with the constant changing colours of the lights which finished in white brilliance.

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