Of the three French composers whose works are being performed at this concert, Ernest Chausson and André Caplet enjoyed close friendships with Claude Debussy, and the style of the third, Arthur Honegger, was strongly influenced by the impressionist master. Apart from the music, however, they also have something else in common: all three had some connection to a means of transportation, as Caplet was born on a boat, Chausson died in a bicycle accident, and Honegger was a train enthusiast. With the approach of Christmas, the Zugló Philharmonic's programme for this concert is aimed at deepening the anticipation of Advent.
The style of Amédée-Ernest Chausson, who was adept in different branches of the arts but died young, is definitely unique while still reflecting the influence of his two musical role models, César Franck and Richard Wagner. The première of his symphony in B-flat major took place in a concert he himself conducted at the Société Nationale de Musique on 18 April 1891. André Caplet's output is somewhat overshadowed by the figure of his great contemporary and friend Claude Debussy. He composed his ...piece Tout est lumière to Victor Hugo's poem Spectacle rassurant ('Reassuring Spectacle'): this choral work accompanied by orchestra is a true gem of genuinely happy singing. Franco-Swiss composer Arthur Honegger developed one of the most personal sounds of the 20th century, with his style shaped by the works of such major associates as Debussy and Schönberg, and influenced by jazz and the music of earlier eras, principally Bach's. In the midst of our increasingly hollow holidays and Christmases of empty glitter, at a time when Christianity is in mortal danger, it does not hurt to consider what a work like this, in which French, German and English songs are performed together in brotherly accord, would have meant at the time it was written, when a devastated Europe was rising from its ruins.
Presented by: Zugló Philharmonic
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