“I have slandered the sea” wrote Claude Debussy. “Today it is beautiful enough to defy all comparisons”. Yet 100 years after his death in 1918, Debussy’s La Mer is surely the most poetic seascape ever painted for an orchestra, the work of a composer whose quiet genius turned music into an art of limitless expressive subtlety. This centenary celebration opens with Nocturnes – Impressionist paintings, transformed into ravishing sound – and includes the Prélude whose unprecedented sensuality scandalised Belle Époque Paris. But there’s darkness as well as light: Thomas Dausgaard joins Joaquín Achúcarro in the brooding concerto that Debussy’s compatriot Ravel created for a pianist who’d lost an arm in the Great War.
Prelude: 6.30pm in the Old Fruitmarket
Piano Concerto for the Left Hand
Prélude à l’après-midi d’un faune
Royal Conservatoire of Scotland Voices*
Joaquín Achúcarro piano
Thomas Dausgaard conductor
Concert ends at approx. 9.30pm