Three European composers at the turn of the 20th century. Three works which each portray in their own way the mysteries and secrets of the night, that magical empire of dreams, imagination, and senses awakened to a reality sublimated by shadows: a realm of whispered words of love yet also a portal to the subconscious and its ambivalent, wild impulses. Vienna, 1899, transfiguration of feelings: Schönberg sets to music the saga of two lovers going through an ordeal that could destroy them and which the protective cover of night will transform into a stronger, nobler love. Andalusia, 1915, transfiguration of the senses: in the gardens of Grenada and Cordoba, the scorching air has seared the cypress, myrtles, amaranths, and bougainvillaea. In an instant, the crisp, cool night unleashes all the scents that the sun’s rays have retained and concentrated all day long. Little by little, life resumes amid a heady medley of fragrances—a magical moment that De Falla captures in music. Paris, 1900, transfiguration of the arts: On the bridge of the same name, perhaps Debussy, as a young composer, watched the evening clouds pass by while dreaming of music which could transform sound and vision and recolour the world like a painting by Whistler. It is these multiple transfigurations laid down by nocturnal veils over an overly trivial reality that conductor Bas Wiegers and pianist Nathanaël Gouin like to explore, in a concert to experience with senses awakened and open to the powerful compounded metamorphosis of night and art.
Orchestra of the Opéra national de Lorraine
Verklarte Nacht (Transfigured Night), Opus 4
Nights in the gardens of Spain