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Romanian Rhapsody

London Symphony Orchestra/Sir Simon Rattle

Leonidas Kavakos

Continuing Roots and Origins, Sir Simon Rattle unites Debussy, Brahms and Enescu – rarely performed together, but each inspired by folk tradition.

Brahms’ Violin Concerto is one of the most impressive violin concertos, and a perfect match for the talents of virtuoso Leonidas Kavakos. Inspired by free-spirited Hungarian playing techniques, it brims with energy – an homage to the Gypsy heritage of Joseph Joachim, the renowned violinist for whom it was created.  ‘The last movement is really Budapest,’ remarks Sir Simon. 

It’s paired here with two more works rooted in popular history: Debussy’s evocative travelogue, Images, which ventures from English and French folk tunes to the unmistakable dancing rhythms of Spain and the Iberian peninsula; and Enescu’s vivid Rhapsody, which draws on Romanian folk traditions – with scurrying violins and triumphant brass fanfares.

Barbican Hall