Colorado Symphony and the associate conductor Scott O'Neil team up with Master Cellist Daniel Mueller-Schott for a program from Berlioz, Saint-Saëns, Debussy and Ravel. Part of the CSO Masterworks series, this all has a wide range of French styles, from Berlioz’s early romantic Overture to Le corsaire and Saint-Saëns’ late romantic Cello Concerto No. 1, to the height of Impressionism with Debussy’s Nocturnes and Ravel’s crystalline sweep in La valse. German cellist Daniel Mueller-Schott makes his CSO debut with this performance.
"Müller-Schott proved once again that he ranks among the very finest cellists. He plays his part with great musicality, inward-looking – often with closed eyes – and with commitment. Everything he does commands unquestioning acceptance: the powerful, broad accents, the seemingly natural variations in tempo, and the cantilenas sung with a breathing vibrato. His melodic line in the Adagio melts on the tongue, his technical bravura." - Neue Ruhr Zeitung
Le Corsaire is a ballet typically presented in three acts, with a scenario originally created by Jules-Henri Vernoy de Saint-Georges, loosely based on the poem The Corsair by Lord Byron. Originally choreographed by Joseph Mazilier to the music of Adolphe Adam. First presented by the ballet of the Théâtre Impérial de l´Opéra in Paris on 23 January 1856.
Camille Saint-Saëns composed his Cello Concerto No. 1 in A minor, op. 33 in 1872, when the composer was age 37. He wrote this work for the Belgian cellist, viola de gamba player and instrument maker Auguste Tolbeque. Tolbeque was part of a distinguished family of musicians closely associated with the Société des Concerts du Conservatoire, France’s leading concert society. The concerto was first performed on January 19, 1873 at a conservatoire concert with Tolbeque as soloist. This was considered a mark of Saint-Saëns' growing acceptance by the French musical establishment.
Sir Donald Francis Tovey later wrote "Here, for once, is a violoncello concerto in which the solo instrument displays every register without the slightest difficulty in penetrating the orchestra." Many composers, including Shostakovich and Rachmaninoff, considered this concerto to be the greatest of all cello concertos.
La Valse, un poème choréographique (a choreographic poem), is an orchestral work written by Maurice Ravel from February 1919 until 1920, and premiered in Paris on 12 December 1920. It is less a tribute to the walze and more a reflection of post-World War I Europe.
"Whether or not it was intended as a metaphor for the predicament of European civilization in the aftermath of the Great War, its one-movement design plots the birth, decay and destruction of a musical genre: the waltz." - composer George Benjamin