Classical music: Don’t forget Édouard Lalo, the French “Tchaikovsky”.

This January 27th, we will celebrate the bicentenary of the birth of Édouard Lalo. Too little played today, this great romantic composer, born in Lille, deserved so much more than the relative oblivion with which he fell.

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No one becomes a prophet in his own country. Especially in France where, apart from Debussy, Ravel and Saint-Saëns, we also often forget to play our other great composers.

Édouard Lalo is one of its symbols. This January 27th, we will celebrate the 200th anniversary of his birth in Lille. But his name was missing from the concert poster. The Les Siècles ensemble, under the direction of François-Xavier Roth, for the orchestra’s 20th anniversary concert, recently gave back to Tourcoing some glowing ballet pages However.

But who to play spanish symphonyExcellent Cello Concerto, the norwegian fantasyand especially for staging operas King Ysa masterpiece with a regional accent?

This is a very French matter in that there is a certain condescension with romantic musicians, whereas Lalo is a bit like our Tchaikovsky “, admits Enrique Thérin, delegate general of Atelier lyrique de Tourcoing.

Meeting with Berlioz

Édouard-Victoire-Antoine Lalo was indeed born in Lille, at 10 rue des Tours, on 27 January 1823. A vocational high school and a public square in Lille still bear the composer’s name. But the statue erected in 1922 in the Vauban square has disappeared, replaced by an inscription.

Édouard Lalo, however, made his debut as a violinist, at the age of 10, at the Lille Conservatory, under the guidance of Professors Müller and Baumann. He would become first prize in music theory in 1835, and first prize in violin in 1838.

From the age of 16, he left for Paris to continue his musical studies, against his father’s wishes. It was in Paris that he met Hector Berlioz and the great violinist Pablo de Sarasate (dedicate of spanish symphony).

Occasional violinist at the Opera Comique, Édouard Lalo persists by giving lessons. And he composed. Chamber music (including the outstanding Trio), melodies (a fashionable genre in the Parisian salons of the 1870s), concertos, lyrical works and one-of-a-kind ballets, However. About this work, Debussy would write: “ Among too many stupid ballets, there is something of a masterpiece: Namouna by Édouard Lalo “.

Brilliant, overflowing, rich in melody and rhythm, this However described in his own way the future Ballets Russes, and demonstrated Lalo’s orchestral skills.

Died in Paris on 22 April 1892, Édouard Lalo rests in the Père-Lachaise cemetery.

Lalo makes the mistake of being in an established romance, he finds nothing while at the forefront of progress “, explains Alexandre Dratwicki, artistic director of Venice’s Palazetto Bru Zane, an institution that defends forgotten romantic music. ” History often remembers only those who brought new styles, forgetting about the lesser masters, whose music was so beautiful. “. It was from Lalo just waiting to be rediscovered.

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