Ravel's Bolero

Ravel's Bolero is one big crescendo, building inexorably over a mesmerising drum beat, unfolding in increasingly rich combinations of orchestral colour until it reaches its electrifying climax. What better way to end a concert! But how to begin? David Robertson balances Ravel's dance-orgy with music inspired by folk dances: Ligeti's toe-tapping Romanian Concerto - its finale once described as 'a dance between a mosquito and fly-swatter'. And for Ravel's colours he finds a parallel in the luxuriant and impressionist sounds of Bartók's Hungarian-inspired orchestral pieces.
But the real highlight is something new: a concerto composed for the Principal Oboe by Nigel Westlake (Babe, Paper Planes). 'It's full of rhythmic drive and beautiful harmonies,' says Diana Doherty, 'it has the whole spectrum.'