The conductor Kent Nagano- the album 'Danse Macabre': Music Box, the 31st of October
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A little recreation by listening to an album that regards a celebration which became popular among the youngsters, the night of Halloween: on the 14th of October, Decca Records released the album 'Danse Macabre' , with records of the Orchestre Symphonique de Montreal, conductor Kent Nagano.
Of course, Halloween is just a pretext to listen to a couple of famous songs, as well as some unknown ones, which have noir and fantastic themes. And it also represents an opportunity to listen to a high-quality album created based on the recordings of two live performances that took place at the end of October, 2015( so, on Halloween).
Let's begin with two symphonies that became famous because they have been included into the soundtrack of the animated film 'Fantasia', produced by Walt Disney Studios. Who doesn't remember Mickey Mouse as Paul Dukas's 'The Sorcerer's Apprentice' and who can forget the witch's dance from Modest Mussorgsky's 'Night on Bald Mountain' ?
Halloween is a celebration that's becoming popular in Romania as well; the praise of All Saints Eve from the General Roman Calendar. Apart from all the religious implications and other of this sort, this holiday represents a reason to listen to high-quality music played by an orchestra that had greatly evolved under the guidance of Kent Nagano, an American conductor of Japanese origins who has been the music director of the Orchestre Symphonique de Montreal since 2006. He is also the director of the Hamburg State Opera.
I saw Kent Nagano in a live performance and I could see for myself the efficiency, elegance and charisma of this conductor who certainly is one of the most important conductors of our era.
This is the second album produced by the Orchestre Symphonique de Montreal led by Kent Nagano for the British record label, Decca, one of the most important record labels worldwide. The first album was released on March 2016 and it contains Jacques Ibert and Arthur Honegger' opera, L'Aiglon , an album which you could also listen to and vote for on the campaign's website Vote for the best classical music disc of 2016 and which has received this year an ECHO Klassik award.
I believe what draws someone's attention to this album is not the music's grandeur, but a French-American performance - a performance which combines the well-known technique of American orchestras and a sort of European sensibility, all under the lead of an intelligent and charismatic conductor.
Alongside 'The Sorcerer's Apprentice' and 'Night on Bald Mountain' on the album we can also find the symphonic poems 'The Noon Witch' by Antonin Dvorak and 'Tamara' by Mily Balakirev, and as well ' Danse macabre, Op. 40' by Camille Saint-Saens and the song 'Halloween' from 'Three Outdoor Scenes' by Charles Ives.
You can listen to the album on Radio Romania Music on Monday, the 31st of October, from 7 p.m. also, its rerun will be on Sunday, the 6th of November from 1.05 p.m. The album is also included in the Vote for the best classical music disc of 2016 campaign, a website where all the albums which entered the competition are available for a re-listening.
Translated by Andreea Dinescu
MTTLC, 1st year, University of Bucharest