Performance Monday, April 3, 2017 | 8 PM

Munich Philharmonic

Stern Auditorium / Perelman Stage
In La valse, Ravel uses splashes of color and implacable rhythms to create a ghostly portrait of a vanished age. While La valse mesmerizes as a mysterious trope on a classic dance, Ravel’s Piano Concerto in G Major simply delights. High spirits rule in an opening movement flecked with jazz references, tenderness softens the second-movement Adagio and its breathlessly beautiful piano solo, and the work culminates in tongue-in-cheek humor and keyboard fireworks. In contrast, Beethoven’s “Eroica” Symphony is majestic and muscular, a daring new view of the symphony that heralds the dawn of Romanticism.


  • Munich Philharmonic
    Valery Gergiev, Music Director and Conductor
  • Pierre-Laurent Aimard, Piano


  • RAVEL La valse
  • RAVEL Piano Concerto in G Major
  • BEETHOVEN Symphony No. 3, "Eroica"

Event Duration

The printed program will last approximately two hours, including one 20-minute intermission.

At a Glance

This concert presents pieces that ushered in new forms and new musical emotions. The two works by Ravel are homages to two of his favorite genres: the Viennese waltz and American jazz. They use these idioms as aesthetic objects and as catalysts for new visions of modernity. La valse was commissioned by Diaghilev as an opulent homage to the Viennese waltz. By the time Ravel completed it—a decade before his Piano Concerto in G Major—the work was darker and more daring, an apocalyptic depiction of a world that had just emerged from war. The sizzling, bluesy Piano Concerto is a tribute to American jazz, a form Europeans—not just Ravel, but Stravinsky, Weill, Milhaud, and others—took far more seriously than American tastemakers of the time. Beethoven’s Third Symphony, which closes the program, represents an older revolution that still resonates today. It has a whiplash energy, an epic structure, and an explosion of experiments that ushered in the Romanticism of Schumann, Wagner, Mahler, and many others, as well as the large-scale symphonies of today. It is longer, freer, more demanding, more complex, and more emotionally varied than any previous symphony.
Program Notes
This performance is part of Concertos Plus.

Part of