Concert program Théodore GOUVY
Œdipe à Colone
InterpretersLA GRANDE SOCIÉTE PHILHARMONIQUE KANTOREI SAARLOUIS
Joachim Fontaine, conductor
Benjamin Hulett, Polynice
Vinzenz Haab, Œdipe
Christa Ratzenböck, Antigone
Ivan Ludlow, Thésée
In the nineteenth century, the term "Wagnerian" did not refer to technical principles or to a particular aesthetic associated with Richard Wagner; it was used more generally to describe a taste for the “bizarre”, the “scientific”, the “modern”. Wagner's music ran counter to the French spirit and was not in keeping with the French concept of opera as entertainment, hence its style was hastily labelled “shocking” and it was described as “music of the future”, advocating “infinite melody”. But was Wagner well known in Paris? Of course not! Until Lohengrin, in 1891, none of his works had been presented for any length of time at the Opéra.
Prior to that, the successive scandals of Der fliegende Holländer (Le Vaisseau fantôme) in 1841, and especially Tannhäuser in 1861, had had repercussions that were in fact much more political than they were musical. Nevertheless, “Wagnerism” – this time referring to an artistic approach – was to be all the rage after the 1880s, both in the smart circles of the capital (for whom travelling to Bayreuth was the perfectly snobbish thing to do) and in the artistic salons of its avant-garde.
We forget however that, between the extremes of French chauvinism and militant Wagnerism, there existed a happy medium in the form of a moderate “Germanism”, as practised by Théodore Gouvy, who, amidst the storm over Wagner’s compositions, produced works in which the aesthetics of Mendelssohn and Schumann were still present, as well as redolences of the music of Brahms.
In partenariato con Kantorei Saarlouis, CPO e Saarländischer Rundkunf SR2 Kulturradio