French Music for the Stage – Estonian National Symphony Orchestra, Neeme Järvi

March 4, 2021, 9:00 am

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For their latest album, Neeme Järvi and the Estonian National Symphony Orchestra present a delightful program of lesser-known stage music from the 19th and early 20th centuries. The overtures by Thomas, Auber, and Boieldieu were all composed for works staged at the Opéra-Comique in Paris, and are wonderful examples of the period. Le Roi s’amuse was written by Delibes in 1882 as incidental music for Victor Hugo’s play. Massenet’s one-act ballet Espada dates from 1908 and is the most substantial work on the album. Set in Spain, the work clearly owes more than one idea to Bizet’s Carmen, but musically and orchestrally it is pure Massenet.