La Phil Pictures At An Exhibition - Gustavo Dudamel

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01 December 2014

Gustavo Dudamel conducts LA Phil Pictures at an Exhibition and Salonen's Helix

Vern Evans

From December 4 to 7, Music Director Gustavo Dudamel and the Los Angeles Philharmonic perform Mussorgsky's Pictures at an Exhibition. ​Along with the Russian composer's kaleidoscopic collection of orchestral scenes, Gustavo conducts the LA Phil in Rachmaninoff's Isle of the Dead and Conductor Laureate and composer Esa-Pekka Salonen's Helix.

"The process of Helix is basically that of a nine-minute accelerando," says Salonen. "The tempo gets faster, but the note values of the phrases become correspondingly longer. Therefore only the material's relation to the pulse changes, not necessarily the impression of speed itself. Hence the spiral metaphor: the material (which consists essentially of two different phrases) is being pushed through constantly narrowing concentric circles until the music reaches a point where it has to stop as it has nowhere to go."