Of the great founders of Romantic music in the bourgeois 19th century, Robert Schumann (1810–1856) was the only one to live into its second half. Moreover, he spent his eventful life by the side of the world’s most famous female pianist of that century. Clara and Robert were a brilliant couple who provided each other with artistic inspiration. In 1841, Robert wrote for his wife a Fantasy for Piano and Orchestra, the success of which spurred him to develop the work into a piano concerto.
Germaine Tailleferre (1892–1983) was a member of the Paris group, Les Six, of which Arthur Honegger, Francis Poulenc and Darius Milhaud are the most noted members today. The remaining composers – Georges Auric and Louis Durey alongside Tailleferre – are lamentably forgotten, even though they too wrote remarkable pieces.
Claude Debussy (1862–1918) completed his Petite suite for piano four-hands in 1889. In its simple music and pensive moods, we can discern the future creator of large impressionistic frescoes. In 1907, Debussy’s friend Henri Büsser endowed the work with a colourful orchestral form.
Camille Saint-Saëns (1835–1921) was a representative of the traditionalist line in 19th-century French music, referring to classical ideals. His Second Symphony in A minor (1859) follows Beethoven’s and Mendelssohn’s symphonies, but its content is already essentially Romantic.
GERMAINE TAILLEFERRE Petite suite
ROBERT SCHUMANN Piano Concerto in A minor
CLAUDE DEBUSSY arr. HENRI BÜSSER Petite suite
CAMILLE SAINT-SAËNS Symphony No. 2 in A minor
Markus Schirmer piano
conductor Marie Jacquot
Concert program can be downloaded here.
The cast of the orchestra can be downloaded here.
The concert is held under the auspices of J. E. Alexise Dutertra, the Ambassador of the French Republic in the Czech Republic.