A Librarian’s Choice #1

A Librarian’s Choice #1

From the inexhaustible depths of our repertoire of material on hire, we would like to present five short works by two female and three male composers, that are well suited as interludes among a larger program. The works presented offer a wide range of thematic points of reference and are characterized by their easy-to-compose instrumentation.

Albeniz: Catalonia

This energetic piece by Isaac Albeniz impresses with its dynamic and nimbly realized musical structure. The constantly increasing tempo creates a musical maelstrom that flows into a rousing finale. As a small musical bonus, the end of the first half of the work concludes with a nice and long quintal fall sequence. All in all, a perfect piece for an encore.



Germaine Tailleferre: Valse des dépêches (Version Constant)

The partly lively and nostalgic waltz is part of the ballet Les Mariés de la Tour Eiffel, a satirical joint composition by the Groupe des six for the Ballets Suédois based on a text by Jean Cocteau. The programmatic approach: " Vacuité d'un dimanche ; bestialité humaine, expressions toutes faites, dissociation des idées de la chair et des os, férocité de l'enfance, la poésie miraculeuse de la vie quotidienne ". Germaine Tailleferre composes a wonderful lyrical melody, which is, however, repeatedly interrupted by somewhat too dissonant interjections. With a beautiful build-up towards the end of the short work, driven by penetrating timpani on the one, you can sway along ironically.



Reynaldo Hahn: Divertissement pour une fête de nuit

This is the longest work presented here, but it is almost entirely chamber music. The very short individual movements of Raynaldo Hahn's "Dissertissement pour une fête de nuit" quickly get to the essentials and different moods alternate, all of which, however, evoke something between fundamentally relaxed, romantic and enchanted, and always entirely nocturnal. Tenderly poetic melodies, such as in "Adieu pour toujours", alternate with classical interjections. More detailed information on the program of this masterpiece can be found on the website of the Association Reynaldo Hahn..

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Heitor Villa-Lobos: New York City Skyline Melody

Heitor Villa-Lobos first composed this miniature for piano and later orchestrated it. The idea of the composition is to create the graphic translation of the real historical skyline of New York City into intervals of notes. Above a chromatic bass line, a concomitant yet faint string melody rises more and more. Chords subtly reminiscent of Broadway and fluffy percussion that pops up again and again create a completely unobtrusive and elegant atmosphere.

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Elisabeth Maconchy: Proud Thames Coronation Overture

Elisabeth Maconchy composed this ode to London's proud Thames in 1953 on the occasion of a commission for Queen Elizabeth's coronation. Although the work is described as an "overture", it is certainly also suitable as an encore or finale to a concert, as it consists of a single musical progression lasting six minutes. After a quiet and practically inconspicuous beginning, more and more instruments enter until finally the great tutti stream opens up towards the sea - or perhaps the Queen is crowned in a programmatic and stately manner. The majestic vibrations of the constantly rising wind chords and string melodies sweep the audience (and probably the musicians too) off their feet towards the end.