Chausson Poème de l’amour et de la mer
Rachmaninoff Symphony No. 1*
*Indicates SPAC Premiere
Masquerade “draws its inspiration from the original mid-18th-century promenade concerts held in London’s pleasure gardens” according to composer Anna Clyne and was dedicated to the Proms’ concertgoers for which this piece originally premiered. This richly orchestrated work includes an old English country dance melody and a drinking song to add a festive flair to the program.
Chausson’s Poème de l’amour et de la mer, which translates to Poem of Love and the Sea, is a 19th-century song cycle about love, loss and the sea. This program, marking the return of Yannick Nézet-Séguin to SPAC’s podium, celebrates the interplay between the romantic texts of Maurice Bouchor and Chausson’s lush orchestration. According to Yannick, “This is just an amazing collection of poems and it got me thinking how color in symphonic music can be … a way of getting to a true soul of a piece.”
Closing the evening is Rachmaninoff’s Symphony No. 1.
- The reception of Rachmaninoff’s first symphony had a profoundly negative effect on the young composer. Years later he recalled, “The despair that filled my soul would not leave me. My dreams of a brilliant career lay shattered. My hopes and confidence were destroyed.” He withdrew the work and forbade its publication, and the depression he suffered deepened to such a point that he was unable to compose at all for nearly three years.
- Chausson agonized over the setting of his friend Maurice Boucher’s verses for the Poème de l’amour et de la mer from 1882 until 1890, visiting revisions upon the work again in 1893. Boucher was neither a great, nor even a very distinguished poet. However, Boucher’s writing served to aid Chausson, as his cliché-filled sketch of a seaside summer romance allowed him extended opportunities for mood and scene painting.
Read more here:
- Symphony No. 1 in D minor, Op. 13: http://www.kennedy-center.org/artist/composition/2069
- Poème de l’amour et de la mer, for voice & orchestra, Op. 19: https://www.allmusic.com/composition/po%C3%A8me-de-lamour-et-de-la-mer-for-voice-orchestra-op-19-mc0002362963