Richard Strauss couldn’t resist a story. In Death and Transfiguration, a dying man, presumably Strauss himself, recalls the artistic ideals he didn’t achieve and as the fatal hour arrives, his soul takes leave. But now, the eternal cosmos presents a magnificent realization of the ideal.
In 1919, Ravel started work on a tribute to Vienna. But World War I had ended with a “fatefully inescapable whirlpool.” So, Ravel created a waltz that emerges from surreal mists, moves to the ballroom, only to end in a crash of orchestral colour, its waltz time destroyed forever. Dvořák’s tragically devilish tale and Estacio’s sparkling new Trumpet Concerto complete the evening.