Président Macron talks culture
To conclude their interview with newly-elected French president Emmanuel Macron, ClassiqueNews.com asked, "Who is your favorite composer and/or opera? Do you have a musical soulmate?"
I have great admiration for Rossini. For me, he occupies an essential place in music history. His freedom, his life, and his genius have always impressed me. He took opera out of its straitjacket and completely reinvented the lyrical song. From “Barber” to “Viaggio” right through to “Cenerentola”, he created an irresistible style-- but I am also sensitive to his serious operas, like “Moses” or “Maometto II”, which are so rarely performed.
In a very different way, I give a special prize to Bach. He is a very big deal to me. His works for keyboard (organ, harpsichord) and for cello display a precision that doesn't impede spiritual elevation, but, in a word, favors it. I hear less of a mathematically coldness than a musical discourse carrying all possible emotions. Bach is a passenger between many worlds, indefinable and brilliant.
As you may know, I am particularly sensitive to piano music. I have played a lot of it myself and try to play whenever I have time. Schumann's work occupies a special place for me; it conveys images and feelings I can't find elsewhere, with a variety of unique sounds. I also have a great attachment to Liszt, this major European, resolutely modern yet anchored in the grand tradition. The incandescence of the “Années de pèlerinage” remains intact after all these years.