In Tuesday’s (3/4) Gazette (Montreal), Arthur Kaptainis writes that the Montreal Symphony will “restore French music to prominence in 2014-15.… ‘We felt that we wanted a concentrated exercise of French repertoire,’ OSM music director [Kent Nagano] said…. ‘It offers a different context for the orchestra and for the public to experience these works, all of which are well known and beloved.’ The opening salvo of Sept. 11, Berlioz’s Roméo et Juliette … billed as a celebration of Shakespeare’s 450th birthday.… Other September selections are Debussy’s La mer, Ravel’s Daphnis et Chloé (Suites No. 1 and No. 2) and Mussorgsky’s Pictures at an Exhibition in the familiar Ravel orchestration.… Arguably the biggest novelty of the season is the 1937 opera—or musical comedy—L’Aiglon, a treatment of the ill-starred Napoleon II written collaboratively by Arthur Honegger and Jacques Ibert” in a semi-staging directed by Georges Delnon…. Nagano … concludes the season on May 27, 28 and 30 with Act 1 of Wagner’s Die Walküre.… Nagano will conduct Philip Glass’s Concerto Fantasy (in a concert featuring the composer in a solo-piano selection) and Amériques by the 20th-century firebrand Edgard Varèse. New works are commissioned from Munich-based Samy Moussa and Iranian-born Kiya Tabassian.”

Posted March 7, 2014