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Subject: Re: Viva La France
From: Alain Letort <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:Alain Letort <[log in to unmask]>
Date:Sat, 13 May 2017 14:22:15 -0400

text/plain (112 lines)

Dear Listers,

Just returned from two weeks in Italy, the highlight of which was a splendid performance of 
“Lucia di Lammermoor” at Venice’s fabled Teatro La Fenice (I intend to write a review after I 
have unpacked, downloaded my photos, and recovered from from my exhausting yet very 
rewarding trip), I found Frank Cadenhead’s post about France’s president-elect, Emmanuel 
Macron, and his admiration for Rossini.

Frank’s post left me with the impression, mistaken as it turns out —my mistake — that the 
Macron interview took place in English.  In fact, it was not, the interview took place in 
French and the interviewing publication was “ClassiqueNews.”  The interview is about 
Culture and Cultural Policy.  The music- and Rossini-related portion of the interview was 
also reproduced on the website of the French state-owned classical music station “France-

For those interested, I am posting below the original interview in French (only the part 
about Rossini) :


Julien Vallet for CllassiqueNews : Plus personnellement, quelle est votre compositeur et/ou 
opéra préféré? Avez-vous un coup de foudre musical?

Emmanuel Macron : J’ai une grande admiration pour Rossini. Il occupe à mes yeux une 
place essentielle dans l’histoire de la musique. Sa liberté, sa propre vie et son génie m’ont 
toujours impressionné. Il a sorti l’opéra de son carcan en offrant une liberté nouvelle à la 
voix : il a totalement réinventé le chant lyrique. Du Barbier au Voyage à Reims en passant 
par Cenerentola, il a créé un style irrésistible – mais je suis sensible aussi à ses opéras 
sérieux, comme Moïse ou Maometto II, qu’on donne si rarement. Dans un tout autre genre, 
j’accorde un prix tout particulier à Bach. Il a beaucoup compté pour moi. Son oeuvre pour 
clavier (orgue, clavecin) et pour violoncelle est d’une précision qui n’empêche pas l’élévation 
spirituelle, mais pour ainsi dire la favorise. J’entends moins une froideur mathématique 
qu’un discours musical charriant toutes les émotions possibles. Bach est un passeur entre 
plusieurs mondes, indéfinissable et génial.

Comme vous le savez peut-être, je suis particulièrement sensible à la musique pour piano – 
j’en ai moi-même beaucoup joué et tente d’en jouer encore dès que j’ai le temps. L’oeuvre 
de Schumann occupe une place à part : elle porte des images et des sentiments que je ne 
trouve nulle part ailleurs, avec une variété de tons unique. J’ai également un grand 
attachement à Liszt, cet Européen majeur, moderne résolu ancré dans la grande tradition : 
l’incandescence des Années de Pèlerinage reste intacte après tant d’années.


The original interview, which covers much more than Rossini and classical music, can also 
be found on the websites of “Classique News.” “France-Musique” just the published the part 
that concerns Rossini and music.

You will note that Emmanuel Macron confesses to having trained as a pianist in his youth, 
and apparently, he was quite good at it, being one of those rare, extraordinary people who 
contrive to excel at everything they touch.  His favorite music for the piano is Liszt’s.

I don't know how good a president Emmanuel Macron will be for France, but I get the 
feeling that the next five years will be very good ones for France’s opera houses and 
classical music venues.

Can you imagine a U.S. president, especially the pathetic swamp creature currently 
occupying the White House, giving such an interview a month before Election Day?

Cheers and all the best,


Alain Letort
Washington, D.C.
Des Ungeheuers Höhle


On Sat, 13 May 2017 09:23:06 -0400, Frank Cadenhead <[log in to unmask]> 

>The new President of France, Emmanuel Macron, said this when asked who his 
>favorite composer was....
>I have a great admiration for Rossini. For me, he occupies an essential place in the 
>history of music. His freedom, his life and his genius have always impressed me. 
>He took the opera out of its yoke by offering a new freedom to the voice: he 
>completely reinvented lyrical singing. From Barbier to Voyage to Reims through 
>Cenerentola, he has created an irresistible style - but I am also sensitive to his 
>serious operas, such as Moses or Maometto II, which are given so rarely. In a very 
>different way, I give a special prize to Bach. It has been a big deal for me. His work 
>for keyboard (organ, harpsichord) and for cello is of a precision which does not 
>prevent the spiritual elevation, but so to speak favors it. I hear less a 
>mathematical coldness than a musical discourse carrying all the possible emotions. 
>Bach is a traveller between several worlds, indefinable and brilliant.
>Next time I see him, I will asked him to join Opera-l. His English is certainly better 
>than our president's.
>Frank Cadenhead

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