LSM Newswire

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Yannick Nézet-Séguin Makes his EMI Classics Debut with an All-Ravel Programme

International release: November 2009 (US and Canada: January 12, 2010)

5099996634226 (CD); 5099996634257 (Digital download)

“The dynamic young French Canadian Yannick Nézet-Séguin has been setting audiences alight

with his electrifying interpretations.” (Evening Standard)

The exciting young conductor Yannick Nézet-Séguin, who succeeded Valery Gergiev as Music Director of the Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra last season, makes his EMI Classics debut with the Orchestra in an all-Ravel programme. The repertoire features the composer’s greatest orchestral works: Daphnis et Chloé Suite No. 2, Valses nobles et sentimentales, La Valse and Ma mère l’Oye.

The name Yannick Nézet-Séguin has been on the tongues of music lovers on both sides of the Atlantic in recent months following his acclaimed appearances at the BBC Proms and the Mostly Mozart Festival (New York), as well as his debuts with the Boston Symphony Orchestra “He drew vibrant performances from the orchestra, at once structurally coherent and viscerally exciting.” (Boston Globe), Los Angeles Philharmonic “In complete command of everything, Nézet-Séguin brought out interesting details in every phrase.” (LA Times), the Wiener Symphoniker, the Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin and Nederlandse Opera “Under him, the unrelenting chain of monologues, dialogues and histories became exciting metamorphoses of instrumental colours, moods, and passionate expressions.”(Trouw) Following a recent concert with the Rotterdam Philharmonic at Amsterdam’s Concertgebouw Hall, the Limburgs Dagblad wrote, “The highest honour goes to Nézet-Séguin. The unequalled amount of energy and momentum he put into the [music] made this performance an event of which people will still ask each other in a few years' time: ‘Were you there?’"

For Nézet-Séguin, Maurice Ravel is the greatest orchestrator French music has ever had: “It’s all about colours” Yannick says, “and the contrast between intimacy and grandness, La Valse being one of his greatest and most powerful symphonic poems and the Valses nobles et sentimentales being much more intimate (…).Daphnis and Chloe is one of his most uplifting and triumphant works while Ma mère L’Oye is so intimate.” This disc explores the enormous variety of Ravel’s orchestral music through three of his particular themes: his fascination with childhood; his interest in the culture and character of Ancient Greece; and a near obsession with waltzes of all kinds. Indeed the collection is suffused with dance, ballet and rhythmic energy.

Yannick Nézet-Séguin (b Montreal, 1975) studied piano, chamber music, composition and conducting at the Conservatoire de Musique du Québec and choral conducting at Westminster Choir College in Princeton, N.J. He took master classes with leading conductors, among them Carlo Maria Giulini. After receiving the Virginia-Parker Award in 2000, he was invited to conduct all the major Canadian orchestras. He continues to work regularly with the Toronto Symphony and was Principal Guest Conductor of the Victoria Symphony from 2003-2008.

Nézet-Séguin made his European debut in 2004 with Orchestre National du Capitole de Toulouse, following which he was invited to appear with the City of Birmingham Symphony, the Frankfurt and Flemish Radio symphony orchestras, the Sydney Symphony, Scottish Chamber and Northern Sinfonia. He is now a regular guest conductor of many important orchestras on both sides of the Atlantic and has received an unbroken string of re-invitations from every orchestra with which he has worked.

In the 2008/2009 season, Yannick Nézet-Séguin succeeded Valery Gergiev as Music Director of the Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra and became Principal Guest Conductor of the London Philharmonic Orchestra. Since 2000, he has been Artistic Director of the Orchestre Métropolitain in Montreal, where he has won many awards for his work and has recorded for the Canadian company ATMA Classique. In London, in May 2009, he won the Royal Philharmonic Society Award in the Young Artist category.

In 2008, Nézet-Séguin led the Rotterdam Philharmonic on a Far East tour and made his Salzburg Festival debut in a new production of Roméo et Juliette with a cast led by Rolando Villazón, a production that was released on DVD earlier this year. As an opera conductor, he has also worked with L'Opéra de Montréal, Nederlands Opera and Barcelona Opera, among others. He makes his Metropolitan Opera debut in Bizet’s Carmen on New Year’s Eve 2009. Other forthcoming debuts include La Scala, Milan, the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, the Cleveland Orchestra, the Zurich Tonhalle, the Vienna Philharmonic, the Berlin Philharmonic, the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, the Orchestra Sinfonica dell'Accademia di Santa Cecilia and the Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra.

Yannick Nézet-Séguin and the Rotterdam Philharmonic plan to focus on French repertoire in the coming seasons, particularly the works of Ravel and Debussy, making this album a perfect introduction. In February 2010, they will tour North America, including two concerts at New York’s Lincoln Center.

The next two projects by Yannick Nézet-Séguin and the Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra scheduled for release by EMI & Virgin Classics are the Beethoven and Korngold violin concertos performed by Renaud Capuçon (October 2009) and opera transcriptions with flautist Emmanuel Pahud (March 2010).

“Ravel's Ma mère l'Oye was fairytale-like, frivolous and sophisticated, like sultry swirls of summer wind that evoke memories from a far past in a Proustian way.” (NRC following a performance with the Rotterdam Philharmonic at the Concertgebouw Hall in May 2009)



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