Over the course of its history, the Orchestre national de France has collaborated with numerous celebrated conductors and artists like Bernstein, Boulez, Riccardo Muti, Seiji Ozawa, Martha Argerich, Vladimir Ashkenazy, Nelson Freire, Yo-Yo Ma, Menuhin, Mutter, Perlemuter, Richter, Mstislav Rostropovitch, Rubinstein, and Isaac Stern. Under the baton of Doráti and joined by pianist Paul Badura-Skoda, they continue in the same vein with this extremely Romantic concert program.
“One cries and the other laughs” explained the composer à propos his two famed orchestral overtures. In comparison to the Academic Overture, which is a sort of fantasy, the Tragic Overture performed on this program is imprinted by the composer’s deeper artistic explorations and greater adherence to the structure of sonata form. The second half of the program is devoted to Strauss’s Burleske, a piece composed at a time when he was in close contact with Brahms. The relatively short piece shows hints of the Strauss’s developing artistic voice, in particular pointing toward masterpieces like Das Rosenkavalier.