Arts This Week: Ken Lam
“Arts this Week” airs every Wednesday at 12 & 7 p.m. on WTJU 91.1 FM, hosted and produced by Aaryan Balu
This week, chatted with Ken Lam, who will be conducting the Charlottesville Symphony’s upcoming Symphonie Fantastique next weekend.
As a program, it’s a very interesting one. We have basically a classical sandwich of two French pieces as bookends, which is Debussy’s Prelude to An Afternoon of a Faun and Berlioz’s Symphonie Fantastique. Both pieces masterworks of the classical canon.
I asked Ken about the piece that will open the concert–Debussy’s Prelude to the Afternoon of a Faun.
It’s a ballet score, and it’s about 10 minutes long. Debussy is a very important French composer. We often associate him with the movement Impressionism, and what we mean by that is he creates use music to create colors and create an impressions of what he can see. This is a very French way of orchestrating music, as opposed to perhaps, you know, a very German way of writing, which is all sort of logical and developmental and variations. The French is is all of that, too, but they they’re very interested in orchestral colors, using chords, not for functional harmony, but a chord should be beautiful to listen to as it as it is. It’s one of the most well known ballet scores of the 20th century.
The Charlottesville Symphony’s Symphonie Fantastique will be at the MLK Jr. Performing Arts Center next Saturday and Sunday, February 10 and 11th. You can find tickets at cvillesymphony.org.