THE Malaysian Philharmonic Orchestra (MPO) will present classical masterpieces from 19th and 20th century French composers this Saturday at 8.30 pm, and Sunday at 3pm at Dewan Filharmonik Petronas (DFP), KLCC.
Themed French Portraits, the concerts will open with Gabriel Faure’s poignant music titled Suite from Pelleas et Melisande, inspired by a symbolist drama premiered in Paris in 1893.
This will be followed by Gabriel Pierne’s Conzertstuck (which means ‘concert piece’) in G flat major.
This particular piece will feature the MPO’s Malaysian harpist Tan Keng Hong. The Batu Pahat native has been with the MPO for over two decades, and has worked with numerous international artists including conductor Lorin Maazel, soprano Dame Kiri Te Kanawa, and violinist Joshua Bell. He has also performed with the Singapore Symphony Orchestra and the West Australian Symphony Orchestra.
The MPO will also perform Claude Debussy’s Six Preludes and two of Maurice Ravel’s work; first, the Menuet Antique which was premiered in 1898 before the composer orchestrated it in 1929. This piece conforms to the standard 18th century dance, but the harmonic twists evoke images of of ancient Greece.
The second Ravel’s work is La Valse; a frenzy work with its wild erratic rhythms. Written in 1920, this music is a homage to Johann Strauss as it is based on the Viennese waltz.
In addition, conductor Jun Markl returns to the DFP podium after his concerts with the MPO and pianist Tengku Irfan last weekend.
Markl is renowned for his refined and idiomatic explorations of the French Impressionists and his long-standing relationship with the state operas of Vienna, Berlin and Munich is complemented by his music directorships of the MDR Symphony Orchestra Leipzig and the Orchestre National de Lyon.
In recognition for his achievements in Lyon, France, he was honoured with the title of Chevalier de l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres in 2012.
For more concert details as well as ticket prices, visit the MPO website. You can also view snippets of the concert rehearsal on MPO’s Facebook page a few days before the concerts.