In the Close-up chamber music series, members of the Concertgebouworkest are presenting a colourful programme featuring works by the French composers Jean Françaix, Maurice Ravel, Camille Saint-Saëns and Louise Farrenc.
For many years now, Concertgebouworkest musicians have been performing their own programmes in the Recital Hall. The intimate chamber music concerts Close-up are organised by the Friends of the Concertgebouw and the Concertgebouworkest. The concerts performed here are given only once and can be heard nowhere else!
‘À la Françaix’ features music by four French composers, and very fittingly begins with a string trio by Jean Françaix. This twentieth-century composer wrote light-hearted, informal music, his principal aim being to give pleasure to the audience. One of his most important models was Maurice Ravel, whose four-movement Sonata for Violin and Cello is a work dedicated to the memory of Claude Debussy, who died in 1918. It is a brilliant work in a mature style reminiscent of the late Debussy.
Pianist Thomas Beijer and six Concertgebouworkest musicians join forces in Saint-Saëns’s Septet for Trumpet, Piano and Strings in E-flat major, a work which has remained incredibly popular since its premiere in 1880 and which greatly influenced other French composers. The concert concludes with the Piano Quintet No. 1 by Louise Farrenc, an important voice in French music and the only woman to teach at the Paris conservatoire in the nineteenth century.