Wendy Clarke curator
Rameau Pièces de clavecin en concerts: Concerto No.5
Debussy (arr. Steele Johnson) Prélude à l'après-midi d'un faune
Françaix Quintet for flute, harp and string trio
Debussy String Quartet
Ravel Introduction and Allegro
About this performance
Explore the evolution of intimate French chamber works from the baroque to the contemporary with MSO Associate Principal Flute Wendy Clarke.
- Baroque composer Rameau wrote five ‘concerts’ – similar to the Italian ‘concerto’ for chamber ensemble – celebrating 18th century characters, places, and dances. Rameau’s Fifth Concerto is a delightfully charming step back in time to the world of French baroque.
- Claude Debussy’s sultry Prélude à l'après-midi d'un faune depicts a faun – half man, half horse – waking languorously from a warm afternoon nap to contemplate his sensual, dream-bound encounter with nymphs. By contrast, the colours and textures Debussy creates in his String Quartet have a shimmering, iridescent quality, even in moments of moody darkness.
- Heavily influenced by the music of Ravel, Jean Françaix’s Quintet for flute, harp and string trio fuses his impressionist roots with neoclassical and modern idioms in this intriguing work.
- Ravel’s Introduction and Allegro – scored for harp, flute, clarinet and string quartet – shows off the flowing beauty of the harp as an instrument. Fascinatingly, there are sections of this vibrant and characterful work that sound like a whole orchestra as Ravel experimented with different musical textures.
Duration: approx. 1 hour and 45 minutes including interval