Sat, Sep 21 | Temppeliaukion Church

French Classics and Rarities

Florent Schmitt: Sonatine en Trio, op. 85 for flute, clarinet and piano, Alberic Magnard: Quintet for flute, clarinet, oboe, bassoon and piano op. 8, Emmanuel Chabrier: Larghetto for horn and piano, Francis Poulenc: Sextet for piano and wind quintet.
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French Classics and Rarities

Time & Place / Aika ja paikka

Sep 21, 2019, 7:00 PM
Temppeliaukion Church, Lutherinkatu 3, 00100 Helsinki, Finland

Details / Lisätietoja

From the early decades of the 19th century, Paris gradually turned into the music capital of Europe. As a diverse and cosmopolitan city, it grew into a melting pot of many different cultures and traditions, a milieu that served as inspiration for the composers heard in this program. Although Florent Schmitt was widely performed in his lifetime, and also much admired by such figures as Igor Stravinsky, his music has ended up suffering from neglect. While often showing influences of Wagner and Strauss, his Sonatine en Trio shows the composer in a different light, with clear influences of neo-classicism. The quintet for piano and winds by Alberic Magnard is rightly considered one of the finest French turn-of-the-century chamber works, and clearly presages music by Poulenc, Roussel and many other important French composers.  Though nowadays often referred to as a minor figure, the influence of Emmanuel Chabrier on other artists was enormous. A close friend of the painter Édouard Manet and the poet Paul Verlaine, who dedicated a poem to him, he developed a distinct musical language in spite of his limited formal training, and was much admired by Ravel, Debussy, Satie, Stravinsky and others. Whereas the sensual Larghetto shows Wagnerian influences, the charming Idylle points towards the future of French music. Later in life, Francis Poulenc described his first exposure to the Idylle: "Even today I tremble with emotion in thinking of the miracle that was produced: a harmonic universe suddenly opened in front of me, and my music has never forgotten this first loving kiss"  Finally, in the Sextet by Poulenc we return to the neo-classical spirit that opened the concert. Full of humour and sarcasm, it remains one of Poulenc's most often performed works. With influences of both jazz and Mozart, it can be seen as a true product of the cosmopolitan milieu of Poulenc's Paris.

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