classical music

Bartók & Strauss: Dances of Desire

Part of Classical Season 2020/21

The two works in this Philharmonia Orchestra concert demonstrate music's power to seduce, disturb and shock.

The premiere of the ballet The Miraculous Mandarin caused an uproar.

It's a lurid tale of prostitution, fraud, theft and murder, with a glowing ghost thrown in for good measure.

Bartók's score opens with a frantic, cacophonous depiction of the big city. Three crooks force a woman to attract men for them to rob, and Bartók writes sinuous melodies for the clarinet to accompany her provocative dances.

Their third victim, the mandarin, is represented by trombone glissandos, and Bartók uses unusual techniques in all the sections of the orchestra to great dramatic effect.

Strauss' Salome plumbs even greater depths of depravity.

Tonight's concert performance of the second half of the opera begins with the infamous Dance of the Seven Veils.

Overcome by lust, King Herod has promised his stepdaughter Salome anything she desires if she will dance for him. She agrees, and demands the head of the prophet John the Baptist.

Strauss deploys a huge orchestra to create overwhelming waves of sound – erotic, powerful, violent.

Swedish soprano Malin Bystrom was 'sensational' (Bachtrack) in the role of Salome at the Royal Opera House in 2018.

Performers

Philharmonia Orchestra
Jakub Hrůša conductor
Malin Byström soprano, Salome
Susan Bickley mezzo-soprano, Herodias
Peter Hoare tenor, Herod
Philharmonia Voices

Repertoire

Bartók: The Miraculous Mandarin, complete
Interval
R Strauss: Dance of the seven veils from Salome; Final scenes from Salome

Dates & times

15 May 2021
Approximate run time: 105 mins
Run times may vary, find out more

where

Royal Festival Hall

Pricing

£12 - £58
Booking fee: £3.50 (Members £0.00)

Multi-buy discount

£12, £19, £28, £36, £45, £58

Multi-buy discount
Book multiple Philharmonia Orchestra events in the same transaction and receive a discount: 3 – 5 events (10% discount); 6 – 8 events (15% discount); 9 – 11 events (20% discount); 12 – 14 events (25% discount); 15 or more events (30% discount). Events must be in the 2020/21 season. Please note these savings exclude Christmas concerts (13 December 2020), Gaspard’s London Foxtrot (20 February 2021), Music of Today: Tyshawn Sorey and Music of Today: Víkingur Ólafsson (25 February 2021) and Elgar: The Dream of Gerontius (25 June 2021). Not available on Premium seats.

Concessions

25% off (limited availability)
Find out more about our Concessions policy

need to know

Ticketing

Multi-buy discount

Book multiple Philharmonia Orchestra events in the same transaction and receive a discount: 3 – 5 events (10% discount); 6 – 8 events (15% discount); 9 – 11 events (20% discount); 12 – 14 events (25% discount); 15 or more events (30% discount). Events must be in the 2020/21 season. Please note these savings exclude Christmas concerts (13 December 2020), Gaspard’s Foxtrot (20 February 2021), Music of Today: Tyshawn Sorey and Music of Today: Víkingur Ólafsson (25 February 2021) and Elgar: The Dream of Gerontius (25 June 2021). Not available on Premium seats.

Southbank Centre takes a strong view on secondary ticketing. We require the lead booker to attend (photo ID may be requested). Tickets can only be resold by Southbank Centre or one of its authorised agents.