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Fire & Fantasy

The New Zealand Herald Premier Series

Conductor Christian Vãsquez
Guitar Xuefei Yang

Ravel Valses nobles et sentimentales
Rodrigo Concierto de Aranjuez
Stravinsky The Firebird Suite (1945)
Ravel La Valse

Rodrigo’s elegant concerto was inspired by the royal gardens in the city of Aranjuez, and it summons up the dignified, courtly past of the Kings of Spain.

Ravel summons up different imperial eras, in his evocations of Vienna in three-four time – Schubert’s, in the Valses nobles et sentimentales, and Johann Strauss’s in La Valse.

The king in Stravinsky’s dazzling fairy-tale ballet is, in fact, an ogre. He dances an Infernal Dance which can’t be said to be especially courtly or dignified, because it is absolutely electrifying.

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