concert nr 50 / ORIENT-OCCIDENT

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hour 15:15 (50 minutes)
day 29.09 Sunday

music category Orchestral


National Philharmonic Orchestra
Dawid Runtz conductor


Stanisław Moniuszko Overture from the opera “Paria”
Camille Saint-Saëns Suite algérienne in C major Op. 60
Carl Nielsen  Helios, overture Op.17
Jacques Ibert Escales


Thanks to the Moniuszko Year, the composer’s opera Paria was finally seen by many people. The opera differs from others written by the composer because it takes place in India. This has an impact on the music, which is markedly different from Moniuszko best-known operas, such as The Haunted Manor.

Camille Saint-Saëns’ Algerian Suite is the composer’s expression of love for Algeria. During his first visit in that country, Saint-Saëns composed the third movement – Rêverie du soir (French: Evening Thoughts). The work was a great success and so the composer decided to add three more impressions. Each has its programme – extra-musical content illustrated by the composer by means of the music. The first movement depicts a panorama of Algiers seen from a ship; the second tells the story of the colourful life in Algeria’s cafés, filled with music and dance; the third portrays a night spent in an oasis in the desert and the last describes a scene of the entry of French troops into a picturesque, somewhat chaotic city.

Danish composer Carl Nielsen wrote the following on the score of his Helios overture:

Silence and darkness,
The sun rises with a joyous song of praise,
It wanders its golden way
and sinks quietly into the sea.

The composer watched the travels of the Sun in Athens, while travelling with his wife Anne Marie, who studied the antique art of Greece. Escales – the title of Jacques Ibert’s symphonic suite may be translated to mean “stops”, “stations”. The work is a record of the composer’s travels, with the individual movements being postcards from the cities he visited. Thus, we know that Ibert saw Rome Paris (1st movement), Tunis Nefta (2nd movement) and Valencia (3rd movement).

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