Emmanuel Macron: My favourite composer

Emmanuel Macron: My favourite composer


norman lebrecht

May 14, 2017

Here’s the original text of the French president’s reply about his musical preferences to Classiquenews.com. He has great admiration for Rossini – ‘he completely reinvented the lyric art’. However, as a trained pianist, he is most affected by the music of Schumann and Liszt, ‘that major European’.

J’ai une grande admiration pour Rossini. Il occupe à mes yeux une place essentielle dans l’histoire de la musique. Sa liberté, sa propre vie et son génie m’ont toujours impressionné. Il a sorti l’opéra de son carcan en offrant une liberté nouvelle à la voix : il a totalement réinventé le chant lyrique. Du Barbier au Voyage à Reims en passant par Cenerentola, il a créé un style irrésistible – mais je suis sensible aussi à ses opéras sérieux, comme Moïse ou Maometto II, qu’on donne si rarement. Dans un tout autre genre, j’accorde un prix tout particulier à Bach. Il a beaucoup compté pour moi. Son oeuvre pour clavier (orgue, clavecin) et pour violoncelle est d’une précision qui n’empêche pas l’élévation spirituelle, mais pour ainsi dire la favorise. J’entends moins une froideur mathématique qu’un discours musical charriant toutes les émotions possibles. Bach est un passeur entre plusieurs mondes, indéfinissable et génial.

Comme vous le savez peut-être, je suis particulièrement sensible à la musique pour piano – j’en ai moi-même beaucoup joué et tente d’en jouer encore dès que j’ai le temps. L’oeuvre de Schumann occupe une place à part : elle porte des images et des sentiments que je ne trouve nulle part ailleurs, avec une variété de tons unique. J’ai également un grand attachement à Liszt, cet Européen majeur, moderne résolu ancré dans la grande tradition : l’incandescence des Années de Pèlerinage reste intacte après tant d’années.




  • John Borstlap says:

    As had been revealed by the right-wing magazine ‘L’Observateur Tempétueux’ in its March issue, Marine LePen is a great admirer of Xenakis and found in a weekly listening session of ‘Anemoessa’ the much-needed renewal of her inspiration.


    • jaypee says:

      Does someone pay you to make a fool of yourself on a daily basis?
      Or are you paid per comment, even if you have nothing intelligent -especially if you have nothing intelligent- to say?
      Just wondering…

      Think of all the pseudo-Ravel you could compose if you spent less time here…

      • John Borstlap says:

        But Sally prefers me commenting on SD to writing pseudo-Ravel. She also said she hated old humourless fogeys stewing in their envious gall, but I don’t know what she could possibly mean by that. On Macron she had to comment today that a president who loves Rossini was much better than a chanceller who loves Wagner and for that reason hardly ever laughs. That one I got.

  • Halldor says:

    Cue: “Why oh why don’t our politicians have such sophisticated musical tastes”. Er, the last UK PM was patron of a baroque opera company and several of his cabinet were devoted Wagnerites. “Well, why don’t they talk about it in public then?” Because the press never ask them to. REPEAT AD INFINITUM.

    • Una says:

      Because we are English, not America, so we don’t do God-squad either in public!!! And no, I’m not a secularist having a moan either! It’s our culture, sorry.

      • Steve P says:

        God, you brits and your effete manners. Hope you enjoy rap and other cultural exports from ‘Murika…although you’d certainly never admit it since that would be beneath your dignity.
        I must admit, it is quite sad that America has no cultural artifacts to speak of besides pop. Jazz is a little more popular than generally acknowledged, but still not the moneymaker.

        • Robert Holmén says:

          “I must admit, it is quite sad that America has no cultural artifacts to speak of besides pop…”

          The real sadness it that Americans don’t recognize their cultural artifacts.

          -The cinema of the United States has had a profound effect on cinema across the world since the early twentieth century. All other cinema is measured against it.

          -Numerous works of literature. Melville, Poe, Twain, Fitzgerald and myriad others.

          -Numerous technological advances that have enabled modern communication. Ever hear of the phonograph?

          • Brian says:

            The elephant in the room of our “cultural artifacts” is as easily overlooked as is jazz: I’m referring to comedy, and I could make a strong case for it being our greatest contribution to the art of our planet. Start with Chaplin, Keaton, the Marx Bros., or whoever else you like, and go on to Carlin and Robin Williams and you find a golden thread of comic genius. I’ve recently been watching tapes of the Tonight Show and have realized that Carson created a 30-year long archive of American comedic art — it’s frequently astonishing how great it is, now that it’s been a quarter century since the last show aired.

    • Malcolm James says:

      How appropriate! Gotterdammerung comes to mind.

  • E.F. Mutton says:

    Macron is an empty suit, a hologram and Rothschild banker puppet who will achieve nothing for the French people in the next 5 years. His musical tastes are irrelevant.

    • John Borstlap says:

      I thought it was his wife wearing the suit, and she is a drama teacher which is all about the opposite of banking.

  • Ungeheuer says:

    Rossini better than nothing

    • Sue says:

      Actually, the same as nothing.

    • Bruce says:

      Sung to the tune of the Barbiere overture:

      I hate Rossini –
      And Bellini –
      And tortellini,
      And Pachelbel.

      • MWnyc says:

        Actually, some of Pachelbel’s cantatas and other sacred music is pretty wonderful.

        Here are some samples on YouTube:

        I have to agree that linguine is inferior to fettucine and pappardelle, and that if pasta is to be stuffed at all, it should be in the form of agnolotti or ravioli.

        • John Borstlap says:

          It should not be forgotten that Alessandro Agnolotti was the artist name of Joachim Alzheimer when touring Italy in the years 1746-48 with his ensemble, promoting his concerti grossi.

  • Gwyn Parry-Jones says:

    My god, a politician who admits to loving real music! That’s pretty extraordinary. Certainly British politicians will only admit publicly to liking pop and rock. He not only shows some discrimination (interestingly Rossini is often dismissed by the ignorant) but can actually play rather well!