In this concert you perform the world premiere of Laurent Petitgirard’s Souen Wou K'ong. Petitgirard wrote this oboe concerto specially for you, can you tell us a little about your involvement in the composition process?
When a concerto is written for me, I like to leave the full range of liberty to the composer, so I interfere as little as possible. The music of Petigirard is familiar to me and it is just wonderful the way this fantastic composer uses the virtuosity of the oboe. Sometimes, in previous compositions, I have changed little things, but with this concerto, all is so well balanced and composed there is nothing to change.
Can you tell the audience a little more about what they can expect from the new piece and what messages you will be conveying during your performance?
This new piece means the one who penetrated the void. This is a very mystical and magical piece, with a great harmonic opening, posing the question, why are we here? Petitgirard did an opera about this, filled with solo oboe lines, which is one of the reasons he turned it into an oboe concerto.
The music of Petigirard is familiar to me and it is just wonderful the way this fantastic composer uses the virtuosity of the oboe.
During the concert you will be performing as both soloist and conductor, can you tell us about the experience of taking on both roles on stage?
This is a challenge which I like very much, and it always feels special to be in both roles. Being both a soloist and a conductor allows me to try to understand the music differently and the depth of the music I am playing, which is very fulfilling. Although, I cannot do a Strauss or Martinů or MacMillan concerto without a conductor, this would be just too much effort and would affect the interpretation too much.
You have a busy schedule performing with different Orchestras, do you approach conducting a chamber orchestra differently than when you conduct a symphony orchestra?
Yes, being with a chamber orchestra allows for so much more, especially as a player-conducter but especially the classical repertoire. I find that the musicians are so committed and devoted to the music with a very high personal musical input.
It is going to be again, a wonderful journey with the French flair Bizet, the magical Petitgirard and the unavoidable Beethoven
You once described attending a concert as being at ‘one of the best parties’. What kind of party can our audiences expect on the 3rd and 4th of March in Edinburgh and Glasgow?
It is going to be again, a wonderful journey with the French flair Bizet, the magical Petitgirard and the unavoidable Beethoven, with the fantastic SCO! I can’t wait!!
François Leleux will perform Laurent Petitgirard, Bizet and Beethoven on the 3rd and 4th of March at The Queen's Hall Edinburgh and City Halls Glasgow.
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