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The RSPO Orchestra Academy in French Music

Works by Ravel, Devienne and Françaix. And some Britten.

The international RSPO Orchestra Academy is an advanced special academic programme for eminent young musicians. Meet a new generation of top musicians in a recording from the Konserthuset Stockholm.

The musicians of the RSPO Orchestra Academy open with music by Maurice Ravel (1875–1937), who in his suite for solo piano, Le tombeau de Couperin, payed tribute to friends who died fighting in the first world war. The practise in the 17th and 18th centuries of composing memorial music to the deceased was used as a model (tombeau means grave stone). He later did an orchestra version of the music, and in this case we hear an arrangement for wind quintet of two of the six moments.

Benjamin Britten (1913–76) loved the oboe, and in his Fantasy for oboe and string trio the instrument shines and evokes magic and mysticism. In the French composer François Devienne’s (1759–1803) quartet the oboe is replaced by the bassoon. It is quite rare to hear this instrument take a step forward and show off, both with its virtuoso potential and beautiful sound in higher register.

The concert is rounded-off with music by Jean Françaix (1912–97). Early on he developed his signature style marked by melodic elegance and sharp rhythms, and he never confessed to any particular trends or ideologies in music. In contrast, his music is individualistic, with clear lines, refined harmony and a dreamy character – as in this quartet for winds composed in 1933.

In just a few years, the RSPO Orchestra Academy has become one of the foremost seedbeds for young musicians. The programme is presented on site at Konserthuset Stockholm and carried out in collaboration with the Piteå School of Music at Luleå University of Technology. Section leaders from the orchestra are the teachers and supervisors during this one-year programme. After finishing their year, a majority have been hired in both Swedish and international orchestras.

  • The music

  • Maurice Ravel Prélude and Rigaudon from Le tombeau de Couperin, version for wind quintet arr Mason Jones/Marcel Geraeds
  • Benjamin Britten Phantasy for oboe, violin, viola and cello
  • François Devienne Bassoon Quartet No. 1 in C major
  • Jean Françaix Quartet for flute, oboe, clarinet and bassoon
  • Participants

  • Elisabeth Nilsson flute
  • Maria Rubio Carrión clarinet
  • Bodil Kindlundh bassoon
  • Mattia Venturi french horn
  • Matej Sonlajtner violin
  • Manon Briau viola
  • Malin Mertens cello
  • Rebecca Millard oboe
  • Published online 2 June 2020. 
  • Filmed 28 & 29 April 2020. 
  • The video is approximately 45 minutes.

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