Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra
MUSICAL DIRECTOR Kirill Karabits
CELLO Steven Isserlis
ELGAR Cello concerto in E minor op. 85
HOLST The Planets op. 32
It should be clear by now: an air from England is blowing this year through the Dijon spring, and more specifically for this concert, an air that comes to us from the seaside resort town of Bournemouth. It was during the First World War that Gustav Holst drafted the score that would make him famous throughout the world. He conceived The Planets as a vast symphonic poem inspired by astrological interpretations. The first part, Mars, the bringer of war, was composed in the weeks that preceded the launching of hostilities, but counter to the military enthusiasm prevalent at that time, Holst here expresses the prophetic sentiment of the ending of a world. For Edward Elgar, this same war would be a period of disillusionment and despair, spent in almost total musical silence.
The Cello concerto constitutes both his return to orchestral music and his last major score, a lamentation on a lost world in a deeply mature and spiritual style.