Insights from the Maestro: French Connection

By: Philip Mann and Geoffrey Robson

I am very happy to welcome ASO associate conductor, Geoffrey Robson, and Ji, pianist and winner of the Young Concert Artists International Auditions, to the Robinson stage. I've invited Maestro Robson to share his thoughts:

“This program is most striking to me because of the contrast presented between works of the 1920s originating in Paris vs. Berlin. Those two cities, which both experienced a rich outpouring of art and culture following The Great War, seemed to be in a very different place psychologically, affecting the nature of its art to the core.”

“The French composers Ravel and Milhaud enthusiastically looked abroad for musical inspiration, to places including the Americas, the Far East, Spain, and others. It is well known that Ravel was an enthusiastic fan of American jazz, and that sound pervades his Piano Concerto in G. In Berlin, however, the hyper-emotional and introspective German Expressionist movement maintained hold. Kurt Weill’s Symphony No. 1, composed before his famous collaborations with Brecht, and well before he was a household name among musical theater lovers, strikes an angular, emotional, turbulent tone, drawing inspiration from expressionism and showing the influence of Mahler, Schoenberg, and Strauss.”

– Geoffrey Robson, guest conductor

Insights from the Maestro