Ravel: Valses nobles et sentimentales
Meet the acclaimed French conductor Marie Jacquot who leads the Gothenburg Symphony in Ravel’s richly ornamented and elegant Valses nobles et sentimentales. When Claude Debussy heard Ravel’s Valses nobles et sentimentales in 1911 he exclaimed: “He has the finest ear anyone ever had!” Ravel was himself aware that this time he had composed something very special. “The title Noble and sentimental waltzes reveal my intentions to compose a series of waltzes such as, for example Schubert did it,” wrote the composer.
But there ends the innocent comparison, because these eight pieces are packed with harmonic dynamite, which when it exploded made contemporary listeners mad and upset. You can’t compose like this! Debussy had only heard the original piano version, for Ravel did not write the elegant and ingenious orchestral ring until the following year. The music also came to be used for the ballet Adélaïde performed at the Châtelet in Paris on 22 April 1912 with the composer as conductor.
Today we have gotten used to the piece’s piquant French seasoning and can easily make us fall in love with the scents that the contemporaries were appalled by. The eight movements are played without pause and contains great contrasts in rhythmicity within the three-stroke model of the waltz. The suite ends with an epilogue, a slow, dreamy, surreal waltz where the harmonic refinement reaches its peak. Much later, in 1920, Ravel completed yet another “choreographic poem” with three measures – La Valse.
About Marie Jacquot
Marie Jacquot is from 2023-2024 Principal Guest Conductor of the Wiener Symphoniker. She will also take on the post of Principal Conductor of the Royal Danish Theatre Copenhagen in August 2024. She has developed a continuous collaboration with orchestras like DSO Berlin, where she made her debut in 2018, and Wiener Symphoniker, with which she has been guest at Bregenz Festival, as well as at Vienna’s Musikverein and Konzerthaus. Marie Jacquot‘s 2022-2023 season started with her debut at the Opéra National du Rhin Strasbourg and further highly acclaimed debuts with the Symphony Orchestras of Bavarian Radio Munich, WDR Cologne and HR Frankfurt, as well as the Staatskapelle Dresden.
Marie Jacquot was first conductor at the Deutsche Oper am Rhein Düsseldorf / Duisburg for three years, where she conducted performances in a wide repertoire, including the new productions La clemenza di Tito, Roméo et Juliette and The Nutcracker, as well as concerts by the Düsseldorf Symphony Orchestra and the Duisburg Philharmonic Orchestra. In 2016, Marie Jacquot was assistant to Kirill Petrenko at the Bavarian State Opera for the world premiere of Miroslav Srnka’s South Pole (directed by Hans Neuenfels), following which she was invited to conduct two world premieres at the Munich Opera Festival.
After studying trombone in Paris, Marie Jacquot studied conducting in Vienna and Weimar. Her awards include the Ernst Schuch Prize in 2019, as well as a nomination as Newcomer of the Year at the International Opera Awards. The concert is Marie Jacquot’s debut with the Gothenburg Symphony.