Gergely Madaras conducts Walton and Liszt — With Gautier Capuçon

Orchestre Philharmonique Royal de Liège

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Program notes

Gergely Madaras once again takes the helm of the exceptional Orchestre Philharmonique Royal de Liège, this time joined by cello superstar Gautier Capuçon in a unique program of Walton and Liszt!

Live from the sumptuous Salle Philharmonique in Liège, the concert opens with the rarely heard Cello Concerto by English composer William Walton, first performed in 1957. This late and little-known work puts the soloist squarely in the spotlight, especially during the central, highly animated Allegro appassionato, which features a tense and captivating dialogue between the cello and the ensemble, brimming with brio in the expert interpretation by Capuçon. Concluding the program is Liszt's monumental Faust Symphony, a symphonic poem in three movements based on Goethe's timeless tale. One of Liszt's most brilliant and best-loved orchestral works, it traces a musical depiction of the play's main characters (Faust, Gretchen, and Mephistopheles) using a set of motifs. In addition to the dramatic atmosphere created by bold chromaticism and clever use of varying timbre and color, the musical characterization of Mephistopheles is a stroke of brilliance: Liszt warps the motifs associated with Faust and Gretchen to arrive at the uncanny suggestion that, perhaps, there is a bit of the devil within us all…

Photo: Gautier Capuçon © François-Xavier Cardon

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