Daniele Gatti Bechara EL-KHOURY ?· Daniele Gatti Daniele Gatti was born in Milan where he graduated…

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    Daniele Gatti

    Daniele Gatti was born in Milan where he graduated incomposition and conducting. He is currently chief conductor ofthe Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra. Prior to this he wasmusic director of the Orchestre National de France, theOrchestra dellAccademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia, theRoyal Philharmonic Orchestra and the Orchestra del TeatroComunale di Bologna. He has conducted at leading operahouses and festivals including the Vienna State Opera, theBayreuth Festival, the Salzburg Festival, La Scala, BavarianState Opera, the Royal Opera House, the Thtre desChamps-Elyses and the Metropolitan Opera. Regularconducting engagements include the Berlin Philharmonic, theVienna Philharmonic, Bayerischer Rundfunk, the MahlerChamber Orchestra and the Orchestra Filarmonica della

    Scala. He has undertaken tours to the United States, Europe and Asia, and in 2017 he will open the new season at theTeatro dellOpera in Rome with La damnation de Faust.

    David Coleman

    David Coleman conducts worldwide on the concert platform and in the theatre.He has appeared with many major British orchestras and with leading operahouses and concert orchestras worldwide. His repertoire is extensive, rangingfrom the great symphonies to many new compositions. He has directed a largenumber of opera galas as well as appearing at international music festivals. Heactively promotes new music for which he has won several prestigious awardsfor innovative programming and performances. As a composer, David Colemanhas written works for the concert platform, theatre and TV.

    Photo: Anne Dokter

    Photo: Costin Radu

    Bechara

    EL-KHOURYOrages

    Espaces-Fragmentations Pome nocturne Le Chant damour

    Ariane Douguet, Soprano Vicens Prats, FluteOrchestre de Paris Paavo Jrvi Eivind Gullberg Jensen

    Orchestre National de France Daniele GattiOrchestre Colonne David Coleman

    WORLD PREMIRE LIVE RECORDINGS

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    Paavo Jrvi

    Paavo Jrvi i is currently chief conductor of the NHKSymphony Orchestra and artistic director of the DeutscheKammerphilharmonie. He is the founder of the EstonianFestival Orchestra, which brings together leading Estonianmusicians with soloists from Europes top-ranking orchestrasto perform at the annual Prnu Music Festival.He is alsoconductor laureate of the Frankfurt Radio SymphonyOrchestra, music director laureate of the Cincinnati SymphonyOrchestra and artistic adviser to the Estonian NationalSymphony Orchestra. In addition to his permanent positions,Jrvi is much in demand as a guest conductor, appearingregularly with the Berlin Philharmonic, the Berlin Staatskapelle,the Munich Philharmonic, the Philharmonia Orchestra, Londonand the Staatskapelle Dresden, among other world-class

    orchestras. As a GRAMMY Award-winning artist, Paavo Jrvi is one of the mostprolific recording conductors of todaywith a discography of widely ranging repertoire.

    Eivind Gullberg Jensen

    Equally at home on the concert platform and the opera stage, GullbergJensens opera highlights include Tosca (Wiener Staatsoper), TheRakes Progress (Finnish National Opera), Der fliegende Hollnder(Opra de Lille), Jenfa (English National Opera), Rusalka (TeatrodellOpera di Roma), Il corsaro (Opernhaus Zrich), Fidelio (MahlerChamber Orchestra and Bayerische Staatsoper, and as part of theFestspielhaus Baden-Baden) as well as Eugene Onegin and LaBohme (Den Norske Opera). Orchestral highlights include the NDRRadiophilharmonie (where he was previously music director), the BerlinPhilharmonic, the Orchestre de Paris, the Munich Philharmonic, theOslo Philharmonic, the Philharmonia Orchestra and the Royal ScottishNational Orchestra. Collaborations with soloists include Frank PeterZimmerman, Yefim Bronfman, Hlne Grimaud, Leif Ove Andsnes,Truls Mrk, Janine Jansen and Anne-Sophie Mutter.

    www.eivindgullbergjensen.com

    Photo: Kaupo Kikkas

    Photo: Mat Hennek

    Commissioned by the Orchestre de Paris, Orages(Storms) was written in 2013 and first performed at theSalle Pleyel, conducted by Paavo Jrvi, on 11 September2013, as part of the orchestras season-opening concert. While world events such as the First Lebanese War(Les Ruines de Beyrouth, Le Liban en flammes, Requiem,Naxos 8.557043 / 8.557691), 9/11 (New York Tears andHope, Naxos 8.570134) and the Shoah (War Concerto)have in the past inspired El-Khoury to reflect and meditateon the human condition, several of his more recent works(Autumn Pictures, The Dark Mountain, Naxos 8.572773)reveal the influence on his musical inspiration oflandscape and the natural world. Recalling his youth in Lebanon, the composer hasspoken of how he loved the storms that broke at the end ofthe day, when the light was sinking into anarchy, so loudthat he could no longer hear the piano properly as he played. Rather than the kind of physical, programmaticdescriptions we find in works by Beethoven, Berlioz orRichard Strauss, El-Khourys music here conveys amomentary impression of the moods and atmospherescreated by such chaotic natural phenomena, and of theirpsychological effect on people the fear and sensorydeprivation that storms can engender in us. The terrifying rumbling became a symphony ofdestruction, and the crazed flashes of lightning told thestory of the earths journey towards the unknown, towardssilence I was a non-existent being in a majestic combatpitting the elements against the darkness! The anarchy and random nature of a storm areportrayed in non-narrative fashion, using contrastingmusical materials, constantly worked and distorted insubtle fashion, arranged in a pattern outside conventionalformal processes of construction. A few landmarks to listen out for A trumpet callharmonised with clusters, then sinister tremolo chordsintroduce an expressive, four-note principal motif in thelow strings. Its symmetrical structure (two minor seconds,rising and falling respectively, separated by a wide

    interval) wil l thereafter be subject to multipletransformations, derivations, distortions, amplifications orcondensations and inversions, particularly once the brasshave made their first entry. The motif is later heard on thetrombones, in a very tight canon, beneath a rhythmicostinato on a single chord played by the trumpets. Thestorm briefly abates before a new atmosphere establishesitself, with alternating flashes on brass and on woodwind,and a whirling ostinato in the violins. The only truly calm moment in the work, markedLumineux, is made up of perfect chords with an Ivesiancosmic resonance (The Unanswered Question!). Later, anew, lyrical five-note motif, drawn from a whole-tonescale, appears eight times (like an echo of the Fifth Act ofPellas!). With a sudden, dramatic intensification in the styleof Penderecki in the bass tones with strings polarisedon F and then A flat, there begins a remarkable four-phase episode, introduced each time by a woodwindgrouping, through which the brass can be heard in triadicharmony above dissonant string tremolos, ultimatelyleading to a huge section for brass derived from theprincipal motif. Espaces-Fragmentations (2011) is the product of anunusual commission. In the context of a completeBeethoven symphony cycle given by the OrchestreNational de France and Daniele Gatti, Radio Franceasked five composers each to write a work of about tenminutes duration that would use the same instrumentationas one of the Beethoven symphonies on the sameprogramme. This work was performed between theSecond and the Pastoral. Speaking about Espaces-Fragmentations, El-Khouryhas called it the translation of a reflection on time past,present and future. He sees a cosmic dimension offragmented spaces, lost in the night sky, like long-deadstars whose light has only just reached our eyes. Theworks poetic vision is that of a strange journey into nightthat crosses our world like a flash of lightning heralding a

    Bechara El-Khoury (b. 1957)Orages Espaces-Fragmentations Pome nocturne Le Chant damour

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    Orchestre National de France

    The Orchestre National de France, founded in 1934, wasFrances first full-time professional symphony orchestra, andeighty years later, its history is embossed with unforgettableconcert performances, countless French and world premires,outstanding recordings and world-class tours in collaboration withexceptional international artists who exemplify the orchestraspassion for excellence. The orchestra has a distinguished list ofconductors emeriti, including Dsir-mile Inghelbrecht, ManuelRosenthal, Andr Cluytens, Roger Dsormire, Charles Munch,Maurice Le Roux, Jean Martinon, Sergiu Celibidache, LorinMaazel, Jeffrey Tate, Charles Dutoit, Kurt Masur and DanieleGatti. Emmanuel Krivine has been music director designate sinceSeptember 2016. Worldwide touring success has also

    established the Orchestre National de France on the international circuit far beyond its Paris home. Highlights of the2014-2015 season have marked the orchestras return to residency at the Maison de la Radio where a new auditoriumwas built for the radio orchestra. The orchestra is giving most of its concerts in Paris in this new hall. Nevertheless, theorchestra keeps its seventy-year partnership with the Thtre des Champs-Elyses mostly for operatic repertoire. TheOrchestre National de France is part of Radio France. All concerts are broadcast by France Musique.

    Orchestre Colonne

    The Orchestre Colonne was founded in 1873 by the violinist andconductor Edouard Colonne, becoming one of the most highlyregarded Parisian orchestras.The Concerts Colonne promotedthe contemporary music of the time, featuring Berlioz,Saint-Sans, Massenet, Faur, DIndy, Charpentier, Debussy, Widor,Dukas, Ravel, Chabrier, Wagner and Richard Strauss. Mahler,Tchaikovsky, Debussy, Grieg, Richard Strauss and Prokofiev allcame to conduct their works at the Concerts Colonne.Theorchestra has also been conducted by many distinguished artistsincludingGabriel Piern, Paul Paray, Charles Munch, PierreDervaux, Antonello Allemandi, Lovro von Matai,SylvainCambreling, Dennis Russell Davies, Michel Corboz, KentNaganoand, since 2004, byLaurent Petitgirard, its current music

    director. In addition to its own concert season at venues including theSalle Pleyel, the Salle Gaveau, the Thtre desChamps-Elyses and, since 2017, the historic Salle Wagram, the orchestra took part in the Opra de Paris balletprogramme. It has made a number of soundtrack recordings.

    Photo: Nicolas Lo Calzo

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    storm in a moment of precarious calm. The work is madeup of very short units of sound that give this impression offlashes, with an orchestration that continually bends andshatters to f i l l the sound space. The opening ischaracteristic, unveiling the key materials that will betransformed and combined throughout the rest of thework. We then hear a mysterious passage of staticharmonies, out of which burst aerial flute figures, a newharmonic construction in dynamic progression, densebrass clashes, and an urgent cry from the high strings.Shortly after this, the timpani play an obsessive nine-crotchet rhythmic motif which, after a four-note melodicfigure on horns and trumpet, takes on different, variouslyfragmented, forms before turning into an ominous motifalso present in the orchestral cadenza of Pomenocturne. El-Khourys Pome nocturne, Op. 80 for flute andorchestra (2009), another commission from the Orchestrede Paris, was written to mark the tenth anniversary of thedeath of the immensely talented and internationallyrenowned French flautist Jean-Pierre Rampal. Cast in a single movement divided into threesections, the work is unusual in that it reverses thetraditional rles of soloist and orchestra the cadenza isgiven to the latter, rather than to the virtuoso instrumentalist.According to the composer, this dramatic orchestralcadenza represents the image of a mountain rising in themiddle of a plain, an infinite plain, on which poetic imagesmingle with dreams and daydreams in space, time andsilence The flute, which only plays in the slow outer sections,is the bearer of dreams, mystery, contemplation andmeditation this is the nocturnal aspect of the tribute. Thecadenza symbolises Rampal, the admired soloist andworld-class artist, its dramatic nature reflecting the griefcaused by the recollection of his death. In a spirit ofuniversalisation, El-Khoury creates a link between histribute to Rampal, a European musician, and the culturesof the Near East, explaining that the work takes flightbeneath the clouds of Europe and ends its journey in asunlit eastern port, the origin of so many memories anderas across the centuries

    The contemplative first section, the longest of thethree, is lyrical and restrained throughout, its smoothsurface gently disturbed towards the end by music lighterand airier in feel, before a return to the initial meditativeatmosphere. The central section, for the orchestra alone, is anastonishing piece of writing, a kind of crossroads betweenpast and future in terms of the stylistic means employedby the composer. Numerous elements clash together in ashort space of time: a tormented theme on brass and lowstrings, horn glissandi and fanfares, violent, harrowingtwo-semiquaver blows for woodwind, horns and lowstrings (and reused in Espaces-Fragmentations), four-note calls for the brass. Later we hear, among other things, the four-notesymmetrical motif recycled, unchanged, in a similarconstruction in Orages, strident soaring blasts on theflutes, and polyrhythmic textures over the kind of staticharmonies heard in Lutte, the fourth movement of LesFleuves engloutis (2001; Naxos 8.570134), as well as inthe much later Orages. The third section marks a return to the mysterious andlyrical atmosphere of the first, borrowing its materials, fromwhich, finally, there emanates a subtle oriental fragrance. The text of Le Chant damour, Op.44, a lyric poem forsoprano and orchestra, is drawn from the twenty-fourth ofLamartines Mditations potiques. In setting thisRomantic poem, El-Khoury employs a post-Romanticstyle at times reminiscent of Richard Strauss, a composerhe greatly admires, as witness his recent seventhsymphonic poem Elektra Hommage Richard Strauss.Composed in Paris in May 1987, Le Chant damour has alyrical expressiveness akin to that of the Mditationpotique for violin and orchestra, Op. 41 (Naxos8.557692). The music is here conventionally arranged aroundthe three strophes of the sung text, the orchestraproviding a prelude, two interludes and a postlude. The orchestral introduction opens with animpassioned, lively motif on close-knit strings, alternatedtwice with an expressive descending phrase on violinsand flutes. Then the voice enters, at first reticent, then

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