Visiting : Paris
François-Xavier Roth, conductor
Gossec | Méhul | Bologne | Beethoven
Anyone who has not yet heard Les Siècles perform can know more than half of what there is to know about historically informed performances. The maxim of this orchestra, founded by François-Xavier Roth in 2003, is to play musical works on instruments that were in use at the time of their creation. A huge store that will always allow the choice of the right instrument – although indispensable – is not all that is needed. You also need musicians who are prepared and able to play several different instruments within a single concert and to shift from one style of playing to another at the drop of a hat. Roth managed to find these artists – young, dedicated musicians who are always looking for new challenges, just like their conductor. The result sounds stunning. In the diction and blended musical colours of their epoch, the works sound more direct, more eloquent and fresher.
During Beethoven’s lifetime, not only political, but also cultural circumstances were thoroughly revolutionised. Instrumental music was no longer second best to vocal music as the essentially sublime – in fact, it asserted itself as the pioneering branch of music. This new art demanded a new sound; the new sound demanded changes in the equipment of orchestras and in instrument manufacture. This dynamic, which spread across all areas of life – the social significance of music, the way it was composed and the way it approached humanity – is what Les Siècles allow us to experience in their programmes and ways of performing.
François-Joseph Gossec (1734 – 1829)
Suite from the opera Le Triomphe de la Republique (1794)
Étienne-Nicolas Méhul (1763 – 1817)
Overture from the opera Les Amazones, ou La fondation de Thèbes (1811)
Joseph Bologne, Chevalier de Saint-Georges (1745 – 1799)
Concerto for Violin No. 2 (1773)
Ludwig van Beethoven (1770 – 1827)
Symphony No. 6 in F major op. 68 (1803/04 – 1807/08)