Dvorák Cello Concerto

London Symphony Orchestra/François-Xavier Roth

Photo of musician Roth

Three masterworks by Debussy, Dvořák and Strauss form a panorama of music in Europe in the final throes of the 19th century.

In the mid-1890s, three composers produced iconic works which would change the face of music.

The lone flute and luscious chords of Debussy’s Prélude have become instantly recognisable; and a piece where the composer laid the foundation for the innovations of the 20th century. Meanwhile Dvořák’s Cello Concerto, sumptuous and virtuosic, was one of the first of its kind, opening up new possibilities for the solo cello. Finally Strauss’ symphonic poem – later renowned for its appearance in 2001: A Space Odyssey – placed the orchestra in a new role, where the music became the narrative and the musicians storytellers.

These three works are a snapshot of the rich musical diversity in Europe – and precursors of musical innovation still to come.

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