Het Egyptische, et al.

In memory of R.M.M., who loved music, as well as fine quips

Het Egyptische, et al.
Photo by British Library / Unsplash

Sometimes I suspect that a few bars of The Egyptian were written not by Saint-Saëns, but possibly by Ravel, at times in collusion with Poulenc.

(I guess after a while, the Circle of fifths catches up with you.)

The Egyptian, by Camille Saint-Saëns

Camille Saint-Saëns’s The Egyptian (above) was recorded in one of my favourite rooms in the world, Het Koninklijk Concertgebouw, where I have had the good fortune to listen to music once, thus far.

On another occasion, I heard Maurice Ravel’s Piano Concerto for the Left Hand (below) played by Jean-Yves Thibaudet with the Cleveland Orchestra—a once-in-a-lifetime sort of experience. Learning why this piece was written can easily become a down-the-rabbit-hole affair, beginning with one man’s personal tragedy and ending with one of humanity’s great tragedies, the Great War.

Piano Concerto for the Left Hand, by Maurice Ravel

Francis Poulenc’s Concerto for Two Pianos and Orchestra (also recorded in The Royal Concertgebouw, below) is another of my favourite works. It was commissioned by and dedicated to the Princesse Edmond de Polignac. The princess—born as Winnaretta Singer—was an heiress to the Singer sewing machine fortune. (Ravel’s well-known Pavane pour une infante défunte is also dedicated to her, and he played it for her on several occasions.)

Concerto for Two Pianos and Orchestra, by Francis Poulenc
Concerto for Two Pianos and Orchestra, by Francis Poulenc

If you are not already familiar with these three pieces, consider this a personal invitation to listen!

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