Liszt and Franck
Naples Philharmonic Masterworks
Andrey Boreyko, conductor
Jean-Yves Thibaudet, piano
Naples Philharmonic Chorus
James Cochran, Philharmonic Chorus conductor
Debussy — Prelude to the Afternoon of a Faun
Liszt — Piano Concerto No. 2
Franck — Psyché
Brilliant pianist Jean-Yves Thibaudet joins Music Director Andrey Boreyko and the Naples Philharmonic for one of the great piano challenges in the repertoire, a rarely performed piece by Franck and one of the first great pieces of modern music from Debussy.
Thibaudet’s virtuosity will be on display as he performs Liszt’s Piano Concerto No. 2. The piece requires quick hands and a fair bit of panache to capture its rapturous nature. The music is so difficult to master that Liszt admonished his own pupils not to perform it in public lest their reputations be marred by critics.
The concert also includes the rarely heard Franck’s Psyché, a tone poem with choral interludes, that follows the myth of Pysche and Eros — a forbidden romance between a beautiful woman and the god of love. The piece was called a “forgotten masterpiece” by The New York Times.
The evening begins with Debussy’s Prelude to the Afternoon of a Faun, the piece often credited as being the jumping off point for modern classical music. Based on a poem of the same name, Debussy’s music doesn’t try to retell the story, a tale of a faun who awakes from sleep to explore its surroundings, but provide the musical equivalent of the emotional resonance found in the words.