Entrusted to the luminous bow of Isabelle Faust and the baton of the extraordinary Sir John Eliot Gardiner, Stravinsky's Violin Concerto shines at the centre of this orchestral bouquet in which Chabrier's modernity, piercing beneath the hedonism, preludes the bewitching, and sometimes troubling, visions of a Debussy at the height of his art.
Chabrier's España, a brilliant and refined score created five years before the Suite pastorale, offers a shimmering picture of a partly imaginary Spain, in which the petulance of the Aragonese Jota meets the sensuality of the Andalusian Malagueña. "In the end, people have to stand up and embrace each other", declared the composer, without sacrificing everything to the picturesque: the modernity of the orchestral colours was admired by Falla and Mahler. Spain, again, with Debussy's Images, the second of which, "Iberia", continues the evocation of popular festivals and nocturnal enchantments, with disturbing reflections. "Gigues" and "Rondes de printemps" radiate the paradoxical modernity, sometimes tinged with archaism, of Debussy's maturity, whose audacity, always subdued by elegance, captivated Ravel.
Like those of Schönberg, Berg, Prokofiev or Bartók, who are almost contemporaries, Stravinsky's virtuoso Violin Concerto exploits all the possibilities of the instrument, delivering a narrative in which the almost "barbaric" frenzy often associated with the author of The Rite alternates with moments of poignant nostalgia.
- Classical music