As we prepare for Rigoletto, this concert is an invitation to continue our travels to the land of Verdi. A journey in the footsteps of Tchaikovsky who composed his highly popular Capriccio Italien (1880) in the atmosphere of the Rome carnival: enchanted, in his own words, by the spontaneous joy of the crowd who needed neither vodka nor wine to celebrate. Taking popular melodies from books or from the street, this Capriccio is a travel diary whose every page affords us a glimpse of masks and lights, festivities and shadows.
Rome again, with Respighi's symphonic poem (1916) dedicated to the city's fountains. The city of seven hills seems to sprinkle us with its insolent beauty as we stroll down an alleyway or wander through a square. From dawn in the Val Julia to sunset on the heights of the Villa Medicis, the day seems to become eternal.
With Harold in Italy (1834) Berlioz offers us a work midway between symphony and concerto: like a solitary wanderer, the viola mingles with the orchestra without ever disowning its own character. Berlioz composed this work at the request of Paganini, who was impressed by his Symphonie fantastique and commissioned it to try out the Stradivarius viola the virtuoso violinist had just acquired. Inspired by Byron's poem, Harold in Italy allows us to linger one last time in the Abruzzi. What if we didn't come home?
Lorraine National Opera Orchestra
Capriccio Italien in A major, opus 45
Fountains of Rome
Harold in Italy, opus 16