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Evian Concours, 30 years on


avec Quatuor Debussy, Stanislas Roquette

A musical and literary evening in which the musicians of the Quatuor Debussy once again perform the program that won them the Grand Prix in 1993. Stanislas Roquette reveals the little-known fate of Tolstoy’s wife Sofia…


Thirty years after winning the prestigious Grand Prix of the Evian International String Quartet Competition, the Quatuor Debussy returns with this souvenir concert featuring works performed in 1993. Inevitably, the work of the indestructible Claude Debussy, whose name they have borrowed and which, like a beautiful symbol, was at the center of their very first recording following this Grand Prix, and for which they received a Victoire de la Musique Classique three years later. Then there’s another composer, already on the program for their first concerts, the Czech Leoš Janáček with his Kreutzer Sonata, composed in 1924 in reaction to Leo Tolstoy’s short story.


The program also honors French composer Germaine Tailleferre, one of the few women to compose for string quartets in the early 20th century, whose work has often been overlooked. These works are accompanied throughout the evening by readings by actor Stanislas Roquette. The latter focuses on Tolstoy’s version of The Kreutzer Sonata. In it, the Russian writer depicts the horror of jealousy, the symbol of a devastating marital passion, which leads the protagonist to the atrocity of feminicide. Stanislas Roquette reprints passages from the book written by Tolstoy’s wife, Sofia Andreyevna, in response to The Sonata. The diary reveals the suffering and energy of a woman devoted to her husband’s work. An evening of music and literature around a little-known figure of feminism.

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