La Monnaie Symphony Orchestra & ChoirAlain Altinoglu conductor – La Choraline - La Monnaie / De Munt Brussels Youth ChoirLa Monnaie Choral AcademyMartino Faggiani choir leader – Benoît Giaux choir leader – Thierry Escaich organ


Litanies à la Vierge Noire Francis Poulenc
Nocturnes Claude Debussy
Toccata Festiva, op. 36 Samuel Barber
Dickinson Songs (world première, commissioned by La Monnaie) Benoît Mernier

Following the much-praised participation of La Choraline, La Monnaie’s Youth Choir, in Benoît Mernier’s opera Frühlings Erwachen, the composer has written a new work for that choir and full orchestra. He set seven poems by Emily Dickinson, a major figure in early US modernism. The enigmatic simplicity of these texts, hovering ‘between nature and the sacred’, has struck a chord with the youngsters in the choir. This concert is part of the Bozar organ festival, in which Mernier, himself an organist, finds himself in the company of composers who wrote major works for this instrument: Poulenc and Barber, composer of an exuberant Toccata Festiva. And Debussy? His Nocturnes are always within reach on Mernier’s composing table. After hearing this many-layered programme, we may find ourselves saying, like Dickinson: ‘I’ve heard an Organ talk, sometimes.’