Poet Stéphane Mallarmé published his Prélude à l'après-midi d'un faune in 1876. Its sumptuous but fragmentary language reflects the erotic fantasies of a drowsy faun - a mythical half-man/half-goat - on a hot Sicilian afternoon.
New Zealand Symphony Orchestra conducted by Hamish McKeich
Running like a thread through the poem's imagery of fruit and flowers and naked nymphs are references to music, specifically the syrinx, or pan-pipes. One of these references inspired Debussy and when he invited Mallarmé to hear his work in 1894, he described 'the arabesque which ... I believe to have been dictated by the flute of your faun.'
Recorded 15 September 2018, Michael Fowler Centre, Wellington by RNZ Concert
Producer: David McCaw
Engineer: Graham Kennedy