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symphonic concert


The 29th edition of the Festival will come to an unforgettable end with Charles Dutoit leading the Verbier Festival Orchestra in Stravinsky’s revolutionary masterpiece Rite of Spring and Kodály’s brilliant Háry János-Suite Op. 15.

ZOLTÁN KODÁLY (1882-1967)
Háry János, Concert suite from Opera Op. 15 

Piano Concerto No. 3 in C major Op. 26 


The Rite of Spring 

In Háry János (1927), a lyrical comedy by Zoltán Kodály, full of humour and reverie, the audience gets to follow a veteran of the Napoleonic wars who invents outlandish adventures with the empress Marie-Louise and the emperor. This piece serves as the source material for a symphonic suite that immediately delights due to its cheerfulness, its parodying of marches, and its colorful pages full of popular themes. Eight years after the uproar caused by his iconoclastic Concerto No. 2 (1913), Prokofiev completed in Bretagne a third concerto that rivals the dazzling virtuosity of the second one, while being more traditional in its structure and more flush with lyricism. All the elements Prokofiev is known for are present: forward motion, cantabile moments, irony, and explosive percussion. After having heard this concerto, the poet Balmont exclaimed that Prokofiev was an “Invincible Scythian, beating the tambourine of the sun.” Jarring dissonances, rhythmic changes, musical accents that appear out of place, and an aggressive tonal landscape that is unprecedented. With the Rite of Spring (1913), a “tempest from the depths of time, come to grab our lives at the roots” (Louis Laloy), Stravinsky ushers the music of the 20th century into a new era.