Ein Heldenleben

A Hero's Life
Saturday 27 July 2024
Christchurch Town Hall

French conductor Stéphane Denève presents a programme of heroes and heroines with Ein Heldenleben - A Hero’s Life. Featuring music by French composers Lili Boulanger and Maurice Ravel, alongside Richard Strauss’ Ein Heldenleben. The concert includes Ravel’s Shéhérazade featuring French mezzo-soprano Virginie Verrez, Boulanger’s D’un matin de printemps, and Strauss’ Ein Heldenleben.

"There’s no conductor alive I’d rather hear in French music than superstar conductor Stéphane Denève, who visits Aotearoa to conduct a programme of poetry and pathfinders." - theartsdesk.com

As a young man, Ravel was fascinated with the exotic lands of the Orient. He followed in the footsteps of other great composers in finding inspiration in the character of Scheherazade from the Arabian Nights tales.

Strauss’s tone poem Ein Heldenleben describes one hero’s path through adversity to peace. In so doing, Strauss wrote a work that pushed the orchestra’s every limit, and, in its many musical references to his other works, anticipated the Modernist movement.

Lili Boulanger, older sister of renowned French composer and teacher Nadia Boulanger, clearly would have become a French legend herself had she not died at just 24. Before her death, she won the Prix de Rome, the first woman to ever receive this prestigious award.

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