EXCLUSIVE: Cristian Măcelaru conducts Debussy, Saint-Saëns, and Ravel — With Sarah Nemtanu

Orchestre National de France in Timișoara, 2023 European Capital of Culture

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Sarah Nemtanu — Violinist

Orchestre National de France

Cristian Măcelaru — Conductor

Program notes

The illustrious Orchestre National de France join their music director Cristian Măcelaru in his hometown of Timișoara, Romania—which happens to be the 2023 European Capital of Culture—for a sweepingly romantic program of French music alongside award-winning Franco-Romanian violinist Sarah Nemtanu!

Their richly melodic program begins with Nemtanu in the spotlight for two works for violin and orchestra by Saint-Saëns: the melodic Havanaise, brimming with Cuban habanera rhythms, and the virtuosic Introduction and Rondo capriccioso, a perennial concert favorite that never fails to delight. Next the ONF turn to Debussy's Jeux, a poème dansé ("danced poem") composed for Diaghilev's Ballets Russes which premiered at the Théâtre des Champs-Élysées just two weeks before Stravinsky's Rite of Spring, initially overshadowed but now considered a classic in its own right. Concluding the evening on a high note are the two orchestral suites from Ravel's pastoral masterpiece Daphnis et Chloé, some of the most evocative music ever written for the ballet stage.

Photo: Cristian Măcelaru © Sorin Popa

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