Les Illuminations

18th March 2023, 7.30pm

West Road Concert Hall, Cambridge

Britten Les Illuminations, Ravel Pavane pour une Infante Défunte & Ma Mère l’Oye Suite, Lucy Armstrong new commission, Boulanger Vielle Prière Bouddhique, Poulenc Gloria

Soprano Jenny Stafford, Tenor/Director Nicholas Mulroy
Conductor Tom Primrose
Cambridge Philharmonic Chorus & Orchestra

‘I alone have the key to this savage parade’ – surrealist French poet Arthur Rimbaud’s poetry comes to luminous life in Britten’s iconic song cycle, Les Illuminations. Acclaimed tenor – and associate director of the Dunedin Consort – Nicholas Mulroy joins the orchestra for this intriguing and mystical work.

Mysticism pervades the rest of this programme, which brings together old and new. Boulanger’s Vielle Prière Bouddhique sets a 5th Century Buddhist prayer in an intoxicating musical language, whilst Ravel’s Pavane and Ma Mère l’Oye demonstrate the French composer’s mastery of orchestration. The concert culminates in Poulenc’s staggering Gloria, which is a technicolour showpiece for chorus and orchestra alike.

We are also delighted to commission a new choral-orchestral work for this concert by talented young composer Lucy Armstrong, with text by Rebecca Hurst.

Tickets: From £15. Students & Under 18s £5 off (not available in top price band)