Gergely Madaras conducts Dvořák and Franck — With Victor Julien-Laferrière

Orchestre Philharmonique Royal de Liège

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Program notes

From Liège, Belgium, the Orchestre Philharmonique Royal de Liège—under the baton of their musical director Gergely Madaras—join prize-winning French cellist Victor Julien-Laferrière for one of the monuments of cello music, plus a less frequently heard gem of the symphonic genre!

Soloist and orchestra open the concert with Dvořák’s immortal Cello Concerto (a work they also recorded together earlier in 2021): a masterpiece of equilibrium between orchestra and cello, full of dazzling contrasts, strikingly original melodic lines, and an unforgettable, poignant melancholy that gives way to a major-key apotheosis in the final moments. The orchestra continues the evening with their signature piece, a work by hometown hero César Franck (born in Liège in 1822) to kick off a year of celebrations for his 200th birthday: the Symphony in D Minor, a golden example of cyclic form in musical writing, with thematic material unifying all three movements. It would be difficult to find a better ensemble-work pairing to celebrate Franck’s bicentennial: since its founding in 1960, the OPRL has interpreted the symphony, which helped establish Franck’s international reputation, more than 100 times.

Photo: Gergely Madaras © Alice Blangero

This concert is given as part of the César Franck (1822-2022) bicentenary of the Orchestre Philharmonique Royal de Liège (OPRL)

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