Dukas, Bernstein and the Pictures at an Exhibition

DUKAS La péri


– intermission –

MUSORGSKY–RAVEL Pictures at an Exhibition


Charlotte Saluste-Bridoux violin

Conductor Zoltán Rácz

Concerto Budapest Symphony Orchestra


Persian mythology, philosophical dialogue of the ancient Greeks, and Russian paintings all served as catalysts for inspiration when composers set down on score sheets the compositions featuring in this concert programme. Paul Dukas chose the airy spirit of Persian and Armenian mythology when it came to penning his ballet poem in 1911, whereas Leonard Bernstein’s Serenade completed in 1954 undertook nothing less than setting Plato’s famous Symposium to music. The dialogue on the nature and origin of love by Socrates, Aristophanes and their fellows is largely mediated by the solo violin, to the extent that the Serenade is sometimes characterized as a secret violin concerto. Soloist of Serenade is Charlotte Saluste-Bridoux, who although still young has a long list of competition victories and important debuts behind her. The concert conducted by Zoltán Rácz winds up with a true hit, the Pictures at an Exhibition cycle. Mussorgsky’s fantasia was inspired by the paintings of his friend Viktor Hartmann, who died in his late 30s. However, the work also serves as a composer’s self-portrait since, as Mussorgsky put it: “My physiognomy can be seen in the interludes.”