Arts Music Singapore

Music Is: The Salon of Princesse de Polignac by Chamber Music and Arts Singapore

This November, Chamber Music and Arts Singapore (CMAS) will be returning with a second set of concerts featuring music of the salon which inspired the giant French novelist Marcel Proust’s vignettes of his musical contemporaries. With a powerhouse line-up of internationally acclaimed musicians Jamie Walton, Florent Héau, Luca Buratto and Tang Tee Khoon, The Salon of Princesse de Polignac ~ In Search of Lost Time will be presented at the Esplanade Recital Studio on 11 and 12 November. Supported by Cartier, the Arts Fund, National Arts Council, Buffet Crampon, The Band World ~ as well as our official hotel partner Grand Park City Hall, this upcoming set of concerts is a highlight project to be presented as part of the vOilah! Festival by the French Embassy.

CMAS successfully wrapped The Salon of Princesse de Polignac ~ Proust and his vignettes of Debussy, Fauré, Satie and Ravel earlier this April, offering an Evening Concert and a set of two Concerts for Children featuring Italian pianist Luca Buratto and Singaporean concert violinist Tang Tee Khoon. A first-ever local pairing of music with live narration from the novel À la recherche du temps perdu (In Search of Lost Time) by Marcel Proust, this project was the first of two presentations reminiscing the Princesse’s Parisian salon, and which received high praises from critics, connoisseurs and audiences. 

Featuring pieces by Stravinsky, Poulenc, Ravel, Debussy and Fauré over two evenings – composers whose works were often heard and even premiered in the salon of Princesse de Polignac where Marcel Proust and other luminaries would frequent; composers who benefited from the ardent support of their patron Princesse – our quartet of musicians will transport audiences back in time to this brilliant space where great creative works (later to be timeless) were first shared and discussed. 

Beyond continuing the exploration of this salon from April, the Evening Concert on 11 November will offer the world premiere of the transcription of Ravel’s opera L’enfant et les sortilèges (The Child and the Spells) for clarinet, violin, cello and piano by Orazio Sciortino, the well-known pianist and composer who have worked in collaboration with a multitude of musical institutions including Teatro alla Scala in Milan, “Giuseppe Verdi” Symphony Orchestra of Milan, MITO SettembreMusica and Bonn Beethoven Festival.

While Sciortino already had a solo piano transcription of key numbers from this opera by Ravel, he has specially expanded this work to produce a transcription for the four instruments within this special occasion, upon the request of CMAS.

In his transcription, Sciortino adopts a contemporary approach in combining the constructive elements from the past to present a new and original composition. “The reasons for re-adapting, transcribing, re-arranging must be found in the need to find one’s own self through the investigation of the works of others; it is more than mere craftwork – it is the unconscious feeling that it is natural for music to be continually re-thought,” Sciortino shares.

This premiere of Ravel’s opera specifically for these four instruments, as well as new renditions of works by composers who lit up the Parisian world of art in the second half of the 1800s and the first half of 1900s – Stravinsky, Poulenc, Ravel, Debussy and Fauré, will be brought to life by Jamie Walton, Florent Héau, Luca Buratto and Tang Tee Khoon.  

The Salon of Princesse de Polignac plays from 11th to 12th November 2022 at the Esplanade Recital Studio. Tickets available here

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