Creative pianist Alexandra Dariescu and dancer Désirée Ballantyne breathe life into this imaginative performance, which has had a successful run in London: “The Nutcracker and I proved a transformative experience for an old cynic like me and almost makes me believe in fairies and Father Christmas! Praise cannot be high enough for Dariescu’s vision!” (Seen and Heard International)
The concert opens with a selection of piano pieces by two French composers. Lili Boulanger was the child prodigy who won the biggest prize at the conservatoire in Paris, but tragically passed away due to illness, aged only 24. In her piano music, idyll and the deepest gravity go hand in hand, mirroring her artistic temperament.
Germaine Tailleferre was the only female member of Les Six. She attended the conservatoire in Paris, where she found friends for life in Milhaud, Auric and Honegger, socialised with Apollinaire and other poets and artists, won an award in the classes about counterpoint and harmonies, and took a pilot’s licence for hot air balloon! Her brief pieces for piano have an air of the French salons; often smooth as velvet, but with an occasional sharp note, deceptively hidden in the folds.