Esa-Pekka Salonen p(l)ays tribute to the music of Paris

Esa-Pekka Salonen is one of my favorite people in the world. He’s an accomplished conductor and a marvelous composer as well. His restlessness and fearlessness to make -and perform- the music of these times has made him one of the most interesting figures in classical music nowadays.

One of Salonen’s most fascinating new projects is City of Light: Paris 1900-1950, a festival of 20th and 21st century French music that includes performances of Ravel’s Ma mère l’oye, Messiaen’s Des canyons aux étoiles…, Debussy´s masterpieces La mer and Pelléas et Méllisande and a collection of gems by Saint-Saens and Ravel for a small ensemble.

The Finnish conductor decided to pay tribute to the music made in the French capital throughout the 20th century’s first half, due to the significance of the moment in which it was made. In those years, Paris went through one of its most difficult years of its history, yet it managed to create some of the most beautiful music ever written.

The highlights of the event are, without a doubt, an installation of Ravel’s Ma mère l’oye designed by Ars Electronica Futurelab, an Austrian institute devoted to study the importance of art and technology in our society that will create an audiovisual immersive experience using 3D graphic renderings, based on the music and shadows created by the orchestra; a striking multimedia production of Messiaen’s Des canyons aux étoiles… played by the St. Louis Symphony and conducted by the superb David Robertson and an already praised production of  Debussy’s groundbreaking opera Pelléas et Méllisande.

Salonen shows off once again his amazing curiosity, talent and ambition to pay tribute to old music embellished with the aura of the current times.  



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