Featuring Berlioz’s Magnificent Song Cycle Les Nuits d’été
With a special performance by students from Encore!Sistema Québec
Sunday, March 31, 7:30 pm at Oscar Peterson Hall
For Immediate Release, March 4, Montreal, QC … The McGill Chamber Orchestra and Maestro Boris Brott invite you to Musique Française, a beautiful evening featuring music by Berlioz, Ravel, Bizet and more. Highlights of the concert on Sunday, March 31 at 7:30 pm at Oscar Peterson Hall include Berlioz’s sumptuous song cycle Les Nuits d’été with soprano Sharon Azrieli and a special performance by students from Encore!Sistema Quebec, the world-renowned music educational program.
Romantic composer Hector Berlioz’s Les Nuits d’été is one of his most popular works. Crafted with an alluring and delicate balance of colours, the setting of six poems by Théophile Gautier paints the cycle of love, from youthful innocence to loss and finally, renewal. Montreal’s own Sharon Azrieli, recently returned from her debut at the Metropolitan Opera in a much-heralded production of Puccini’s Suor Angelica, is the soloist.
The 1903 String Quartet by Maurice Ravel will be heard in an orchestration by Rudolf Barshai. Dedicated to Ravel’s teacher, Gabriel Fauré, this masterpiece displayed many musical innovations for its time, including effects like pizzicato and sul tasto (bow on the fingerboard). The programme also features a 1989 work by Québécois composer Jacques Hétu (1928-2010). Poème for string orchestra, op. 47, inspired by Paul Éluard’s vivid poem Liberté, is dramatic in tone, staging the violins like an actor in a monologue, surrounded by the decor provided by the rest of the orchestra.
The MCO is delighted to welcome students from Encore!Sistema Québec to perform at this concert. Quebec’s only independent charity exclusively dedicated to delivering extra-curricular music education, the worldwide El-Sistema movement of musical instruction, offered free of charge to students, also emphasizes social development and community connection. “It has always been a mission of mine to offer young talent the opportunity of sharing the stage with our enthusiastic and excellent MCO musicians,” comments Boris Brott, “The El Sistema program positively changes the lives of these young people. You will be inspired by their achievements as I am.” The young string players, from ages 7-12, will perform on their own as well as with the MCO, including a stirring “Habanera” from Carmen, with Sharon Azrieli.
The McGill Chamber Orchestra is celebrating its 79th season. The Orchestra has toured widely presenting concerts in 17 countries on five continents to great critical acclaim. The MCO also recorded extensively for CBC Records and Analekta, and appeared regularly on radio and television for CBC and Radio-Canada. Since 2005, the MCO is under the Artistic Direction of conductor Boris Brott, one of Canada’s most internationally renowned conductors. The orchestra is a vibrant ensemble consisting of the city’s best professional musicians and presents concerts throughout the year in the finest halls of Montreal.
TICKETS: $10 – $55 | Available online at orchestre.ca or by phone at 514-487-5190