Dialogues de l’Orgue

17/09/2017 - 17/09/2017

Following the much-praised participation of La Choraline, La Monnaie’s Youth Chorus, in Benoît Mernier’s opera Frühlings Erwachen, the composer has written a new work for that chorus and full orchestra. He set seven poems by Emily Dickinson, a major figure in early US modernism. The enigmatic simplicity of these texts, hovering ‘between nature and the sacred’, has struck a chord with the youngsters in the chorus. This concert is part of the Bozar organ festival, in which Mernier, himself an organist, finds himself in the company of composers who wrote major works for this instrument: Poulenc (whose work is also prominent in the autumn programme) and Barber, composer of an exuberant Toccata Festiva. And Debussy? His Nocturnes are always within reach on Mernier’s composing table. After hearing this many-layered programme, we may find ourselves saying, like Dickinson: ‘I’ve heard an Organ talk, sometimes.’


Francis Poulenc Litanies à la Vierge Noire (Notre-Dame de Rocamadour), FP 82 (1936/1947)
Claude Debussy Trois Nocturnes (1897–1899)
Samuel Barber Toccata Festiva, op. 36 (1960)
Benoît Mernier Dickinson Songs (World Premiere, commission of La Monnaie)

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