Oct 03 2024

Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra

Farrenc, Saint-Saens, Berlioz

Anja Bihlmaier leads the Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra in this symphonic Tour De France, arriving at a musical work like none other.

The landscape of French music changed permanently in 1827, when Hector Berlioz fell head-over-heels in love with an Irish actress and set out to prove his love for her in music. Berlioz’s Symphonie fantastique didn’t just regale its listeners with all the torture, urgency and heroism of his love for the actress, it set a new course for music in France, urging other composers to invest their works with passion, humour, spirit and pride.

All that was felt by the French composers who followed, among them the child prodigy Saint-Saëns who filled his Piano Concerto No. 2 with everything from Bach to Offenbach – not forgetting its wild ‘tarantella’ finale. Winner of the Clara Haskil Competition, Mao Fujita, plays Saint-Saëns’s most popular concerto here after Louise Farrenc’s vivacious Overture No. 2, a work partly inspired by Berlioz’s impassioned symphony.

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