In his Prélude à l'après-midi d'un faune, Debussy imagined a musical world in which absolute beauty took precedence over argument and logic. The result is a work with all the magic of a dream and the radiance of a light-filled painting.
Debussy believed that colour was as important as conversation, a concept taken forward by another French composer, Gérard Grisey, who pioneered the ‘spectral’ technique in which the timbre of the sound itself forms the building blocks of a piece.
The legacy of all those composers can be heard in the music of Rebecca Saunders, whose delicate exploration of memory and confidence, an invisible trace, was premiered in 2006.
Old or new, all the music in this concert offers an extraordinary listening experience – and a reminder that greatness never dims.
PerformersBirmingham Contemporary Music Group
RepertoireVarèse: Density 21.5 for solo flute; Ionisation for 13 percussionists; Intégrales for wind & percussion **;
Please note change of programme from originally advertised.
Queen Elizabeth Hall Foyer at 3.40pm. Young musicians of Birmingham Contemporary Music Group's NEXT training programme, conducted by William Cole, perform Varèse's Octandre. Free.