»Ouverture philharmonique« (2021)
Piano Concerto No. 5 in F major op.103 »L’Égyptien« (1896)
Trois Nocturnes (1899)
- Alexandre Kantorow Piano
- Kammerchor der Universität zu Köln
- François-Xavier Roth Conductor
At times, one would like to be there live: at precisely the moment when a person composing has that one momentous flash of inspiration. And that kind of initial creative spark can happen in many different ways.
It’s no accident that Camille Saint-Saëns’s 5 th Piano Concerto sounds like an exotic stay abroad. Saint-Saëns was a keen traveller, and he frequently packed up his belongings and took off. Our tour guide at the piano will be Alexandre Kantorow, and he’ll take us along to Egypt—a journey with no effect on the climate, purely musical in nature.
Glittering sparkles, shimmering luminousness, fabulous winged creatures above the water surface. One would like to paint such magic right away. Or, by the same token, compose it in picture-perfect style. Foggy clouds, dazzling light and dangerously seductive singing infuse Claude Debussy’s music.
Sometimes, however, the overall societal situation upsets one’s compositional plans.
If, for instance, there’s a pandemic going on. But even a nerve-racking exceptional situation can release creative potential. Éric Montalbetti reacts to the crisis with a surprisingly spirited, even optimistic piece.
Suitable to dance to and Spanish, the commission for a composition was along those lines. But that was sufficient inspiration for Maurice Ravel, who succeeded with his Boléro in creating one of the most unusual musical works there is: a continuous loop of about fifteen minutes, yet not one second of boredom. And for the famous little snare drum? Three hundred ninety-nine measures of the utmost concentration.