Milhaud & Saint-Saëns


20/03/2021 - 20/03/2021

Milhaud & Saint-Saëns

This concert will take place: without a live audience in the hall, but with a livestream. The stream will be available here on 20 March at 8pm. 

Dream of the effervescent spots where the sun warms the earth, sultry melodies come from a window and enchanting rhythms entice people in the streets to dance. That is the power of music, the magic that occurs when creative spirits – such as Darius Milhaud and Camille Saint-Saëns – sharpen their senses, combine their impressions with skill, and provide us with delightfully new and sunny music.

Drawing on sonorities from Brazil, for example, where Darius Milhaud first encountered the Afro-American sound. Later, in chilly New York, he experienced ‘true’ jazz and was completely won over by the free rhythms, the improvisations, the blues. The task of composing a new ballet spectacle came at just the right time, and for La Création du Monde, he drew on all those new impressions. Jazzy rhythms and blue notes were used, for the first time, not as an exotic touch within a classical work, but as its refreshing basis.

“The Creation of the World emerges not as a flirtation but as a real love affair with jazz.” - Leonard Bernstein

Saint-Saëns also loved travelling to sunspots, and conceived of his 5th Piano Concerto as a sea voyage along southerly regions – including Egypt, where he was enchanted by a Nubian love song. This concerto is also marked by occasional musical reminders of gamelan music from Indonesia, Balinese gong effects and whimsical Arabic rhythms – a challenge for which the pianist has to pull off not inconsiderable technical fireworks.

And that is precisely wat Nicholas Angelich is able to do like none other. His native talent (he began playing at the age of five) gave him an early start, but it was his perseverance, sharp intellect and unfailing intuition that earned him a great many awards.

Flagey, Brussels Philharmonic

Practical information