Debussy, Saint-Saens, Ravel and Bizet dominate a Top 100 that’s so Frenchy, so chic.
Last year it was 20th-century music; previous incarnations have included chamber music and all-Mozart lists. But in 2012, with Debussy’s sesquicentenary looming large, ABC Classic FM devoted its annual Classic 100 Countdown to the music of France. Fin-de-siècle operas (Offenbach, Massenet) ballets (Adam, Delibes) and orchestral pieces (Debussy, Fauré, Saint-Saëns) dominated – with just a dash of French Baroque (Marais, Rameau) and modern fare (Messiaen) to add a certain je ne sais quoi. Funnily enough though, the leading lady in the No.1 spot isn’t a French femme fatale, but the sultry Spanish seductress Carmen, from Bizet’s ever-popular opera of the same name. Bodes well for Opera Australia’s Sydney Harbour performances next year. Allons-y!
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Petite suite pour piano – 4 hands