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Copland and Corigliano, Rhapsody 2020 at the Mint

The programme is skilfully orchestrated, between popular, jazz and scholarly music.From a Rhapsody in Blue to the great arias of West Side Story, the exciting melodies of America come to Brussels as a reminder, between sweet madness, nonchalance and above all lightness.Uncomplexed, rich, vibrant and sensitive, the American adventure continues for La Monnaie, which was tinged with a very Hollywood spirit with Les Contes d’Hoffmann.Here, less spleen, less blues but above all more Jazz, the artistic return to the flat country sounds like a musical boost, an impulse full of good resolutions for a public full of wonder.

Faithful to the composer’s indications, the musical director puts this great concert under the spotlight of the rare Promenade Overture by John Corigliano (a composer who has just made a name for himself in France with the continental premiere of his opera Les Fantômes de Versailles).In front of an absent orchestra, the suspense lets each musician come at his own pace, sit on stage.Their mischievousness leaves the audience the magic of discovering the beauty of each instrument that comes to sound and add to it little by little, to finally unite in apotheosis.

For the Rhapsody in Blue, Alain Altinoglu even conducts from his used piano, with the performance of a passionate but above all millimetre dialogue between the instrument and the phalanx.The well-known tune seems to sound new, more palpable and even closer, precise to a technique that nourishes exaltation in the second half of a concert.While the first part honours the orchestra, the second part highlights the voices of the Chœurs de La Monnaie, prepared by Christophe Talmont.The singers add a significant amount of nostalgia.The uniformity between the voices reinforces the power with very precise female desks (a little less in the low male voices because they are full).The pleasure is reflected in the responsiveness of the choir and the attention in the dialogue with the orchestra.Aaron Copland’s Old American Songs sound more country and narrative with the more cinematic tunes Ching-a-Ring Chaw, Simple Gifts, At the River, I Bought Me a Cat, nourished by a vibrant range of song and orchestra.

https://soundcloud.com/miami-symphony-orchestra – Listen some of the best songs

Everyone in the audience finds himself silently whistling the most famous tunes from West Side Story, a mark of a golden age and universal singing fervour, for it is the combination of learned, classical and grandiose music with the lightness of a lively and frenetic jazz that sounds like a medicine for winter spleen.

Its audience says Thank You to The Mint and Happy New Year.

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