Stages & Screenings

Stages & Screenings

Louis Schwizgebel plays Saint-Saens' Piano Concerto

Presented by Royal Bangkok Symphony Orchestra


25 May 2024

Hector Berlioz's overture, Roman Carnival, is nine minutes of dashing music. The Overture seamlessly stitches together themes from the opera, including Cellini's first-act aria in praise of his beloved - the luscious melody now sung by the English horn - and the wild saltarello, a folk dance in triple time, which is the recurring, cymbals-punctuated theme, dominating the carnival scene played out in Rome's Piazza Colonna.

Camille Saint-Saëns’ Piano Concerto No. 2 in G minor, Op. 22, displayed his ability to effortlessly blend serious themes with playful elements. The concerto, structured more like a symphony, starts with a slow-paced movement featuring a Liszt-like solo cadenza and a theme possibly borrowed from Gabriel Fauré. The Scherzo, marked by a playful melody derived from the first movement, showcases intricate motivic development alongside sparkling embellishments, earning favour with audiences.

Maurice Ravel's "Valses nobles et sentimentales" is a suite of waltzes composed in 1911, with a piano version published that year and an orchestrated version in 1912. One of the most generous contributors to the waltz catalogue was Schubert, Ravel's suite combines Impressionist and Modernist elements, showcasing his fascination with the waltz genre.

Georges Bizet: L'Arlésienne Suite No. 2, was arranged posthumously by contemporary composer Ernest Guiraud and showed Bizet at his most charming. The music was initially written for a play named L'Arlésienne (The Woman from Arles). Guiraud defies expectations, creating a form of melodic dissonance that is not resolved until the final section of the movement when the themes uniformly unfold.

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