“I have slandered the sea” wrote Claude Debussy. “Today it is beautiful enough to defy all comparisons”. Yet 100 years after his death in 1918, Debussy’s 'La Mer' is surely the most poetic seascape ever painted for an orchestra, the work of a composer whose quiet genius turned music into an art of limitless expressive subtlety. This centenary celebration opens with 'Nocturnes' – Impressionist paintings, transformed into ravishing sound – and includes the 'Prélude' whose unprecedented sensuality scandalised Belle Époque Paris. But there’s darkness as well as light: Thomas Dausgaard joins Joaquín Achúcarro in the brooding concerto that Debussy’s compatriot Ravel created for a pianist who’d lost an arm in the Great War.
The concert will be recorded, for broadcast on BBC Radio 3 on Wednesday evening 28 November at 7.30pm.