Closing Concert Closing Concert Closing Concert
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Closing Concert

Closing concert

Date of Event

Tuesday, 4. 6. 2019 from 20.00
Expected end of the concert 22.10


700 - 2 900 CZK Sold out


  • Antonín Dvořák: Violin Concerto in A minor Op. 53
  • Claude Debussy: La mer
  • Igor Stravinsky: The Firebird, suite No. 2 (1919)


  • Orchestre National du Capitole de Toulouse
  • Tugan Sokhiev - conductor
  • Renaud Capuçon - violin

Concert partner


Charismatic Sokhiev

French art is surrounded by an aura of inimitable charm. It combines elegance, zest, and readiness to embrace ambitious visions looking to the future. By as early as the 17th century, France had already become known as a major hub of European culture. Later, most notably at the turn of the 19th century, Paris enjoyed the status of a centre around which revolved much of what mattered in the art world. The programme of the 2019 edition of the Prague Spring Festival has been spun around an exciting key ambition: namely, to offer a highly varied array of colours making up the opulent palette of French music, with the dual focus on composers and interpreters alike. The result is a series topped off by a closing concert featuring the outstanding Orchestre National du Capitole de Toulouse under the baton of its charismatic principal conductor, Tugan Sokhiev, with an offering of music embodying a dialogue between the Slavic and French sonic worlds.

Gallic élan

The solo part in Dvořák´s violin concerto will be performed by a French violinist Renaud Capuçon “Gallic élan /…/ the melodies flowed from his violin like liquid gold, to use the words of praise from the web music magazine Bachtrack. In 1995 he took masterclasses in Verbier, Switzerland, with Isaac Stern, who was his illustrious role model: “I was less than twenty then, and this really meant so much to me… It was entirely beyond my imagination at that time that one day I would be playing his violin! This is one of those miracles that just may happen to us in the course of life…”, he said in an interview. The instrument in question was a Guarneri del Gesù “Panette”, from 1737, purchased for Capuçon by the Banca Svizzera Italiana. Another figure of key import for his career was Claudio Abbado, whose references led to Capuçon´s subsequent work with some of the most notable orchestras and conductors of Europe and the Americas. He has achieved the same level of brilliance as a recital artist, a field where he has performed as soloist or together with such prominent musicians as pianists Martha Argerich, Daniel Barenboim, Yefim Bronfman, Hélène Grimaud, Jean-Yves Thibaudet, Maria João Pires or Khatia Buniatishvili, with the last of whom he appeared at the Prague Spring in 2013. His concert partner of many years has been his equally renowned brother, the cellist Gautier Capuçon.

Debussy´s La Mer ranks among the highlights of French Impressionist music. Its tones evoke glittering refractions of soft and tender hues and shimmers of air penetrated by light, so reminiscent of canvases by the French Impressionist painters. “The sea is a child, it plays around, unaware of what exactly it is doing… it has beautiful long hair… and it has a soul, it goes away and comes back again, changing constantly,” was how Debussy himself described his opus.

A similarly luscious palette of orchestral colours characterizes the music of Igor Stravinsky´s The Firebird, thereby linking up in a brilliant manner with the mastery of orchestration epitomized by the French Impressionist composers. Similar affinity with the French element was characteristic for the legendary ballet impresario, Sergei Diaghilev, for whose ensemble Stravinsky wrote this ballet. Its world premiere, which took place at the Paris Opéra in 1910, was a triumph. The work´s success led the composer to make several orchestral suites from the stage music. Their profusion of dazzling ideas on the plane of orchestration is sure to hold the listeners´ attention at its peak notwithstanding the absence of the dance component. Both orchestra and conductor are offered a golden opportunity here to display their skills to the full in their progress towards the score´s ecstatic finale which will doubtless provide a truly rousing climax to the whole festival.