Neeme Järvi conducts the ONF in a Russian programme

Neeme Järvi was conducting the Orchestre National de France at the Maison de la Radio.

The conductor, who likes playing lesser known works, had chosen Rachmaninov 1st Symphony for the 1st part of the concert. Its creation was a major failure, an important setback for the young composer who was shaken by the poor reception, linked to poor performance. The original score was lost had to be rebuilt using orchestral parts. Though I am not a fan of Rachmaninov music, I found the work quite interesting, with its energetic and dark mood.

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Bernard Haitink conducts the ONF in French music

The great Dutch maestro Bernard Haitink was in Paris to give a concert in the Auditorium de Radio France. He was conducting – with expert hands – the ONF and its Choir in a beautiful and off the beaten path programme.

They played 2 works by French composers, first Poulenc’s Gloria, with soprano Patricia Petibon as soloist, then the complete version of Ravel’s Daphnis et Chloé.

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Parallels between Kurt Masur & Michel Plasson concerts in Paris

Michel Plasson, Orchestre de l’Opéra National de Paris, Opéra Bastille, Paris, April 25 2012
Kurt Masur, Orchestre National de France, Théâtre des Champs-Elysées, Paris, April 26 2012

I thought I would start this blog with a word on these 2 maestros who graced Paris concert halls this week.

Both conductors share a remarkable insight on music (Plasson obviously for French music, but not exclusively, Masur for German & Russian music among others, due to his youth in Eastern Germany), both have what I would call a “classical” approach – which to me is clearly a compliment – and are loved by the musicians for their humanism. Continue reading