Magali Leger, Rasul Klychev, Nury Nuryev: Dialogues about Berlioz and Beyond

On the evening of Saturday, October 19, classical music enthusiasts filled the Magtymguly Turkmen Music and Drama Theater to capacity. The Embassy of the Republic of France and the Ministry of Culture of Turkmenistan co-organized a concert to commemorate the 150th anniversary of the death of Hector Berlioz.

Hector Berlioz composed brilliant pieces of music, sadly, not frequently played by us, Rasul Klychev, the principal conductor of the State Symphony Orchestra, said during a short talk before the concert. A fusion of French classical music, a vocal performance by opera diva Magali Leger and our soloist Nury Nuryev will be certainly of interest. Well, see you at the concert!

The evening of music opened with La Marche Hongroise (The Hungarian March) from Berlioz's 'La Damnation de Faust' (The Damnation of Faust) performed by the State Symphony Orchestra. The richly varied sounds highlighted the distinctive character of Hungarian music and set a spirit-stirring tone to the concert. After prolonged applause Rasul Klychev left his conductor's stand and went backstage to gallantly escort Magali Leger to the stage. The opera star was greeted with a storm of applause.

The French singer sang Hector Berlioz's song cycle Les Nuits d'ete (The Summer Nights), having enthralled the audience with her rich soprano voice and wonderful acting skills.

The commemoration of French composer Berlioz culminated in Un Bal (The Ball) from his 'Symphonie Fantastique' excellently performed by the Symphony Orchestra. The audience exploded in an outburst of thunderous applause and shouts Bravo! Bravissimo!

The concert program also featured works by Charles Francois Gounod, Jules Massenet, Leo Delibes, and Jacques Offenbach. Magali Leger's singing partner was Nury Nuryev, the Symphony Orchestra's soloist. The exquisite soprano and expressive tenor made a harmonious singing duo, perfectly complementing each other. The parts of Hanna and Danilo from Franz Lehar's operetta 'Die Lustige Witwe' (The Merry Widow'), and Nadir and Leila from Georges Bizet's operetta 'Les PA�cheurs de Perles' (The Pearl Fishers) performed by the singers totally captivated those present at the concert.

The listeners had a pleasant surprise when Magali Leger and Nury Nuryev sang Veli Mukhatov's song 'Ashgabat: The City of Love' in the Turkmen language. The Cancan from Jacques Offenbach's operetta 'Orphee Aux Enfers' (Orpheus in the Underworld) performed by the Symphony Orchestra with flawless precision brought the concert to a close.

The French-Turkmen evening of music, a significant event in the capital's cultural scene, aroused intense emotions in those who love the art of Euterpe (the Greek muse of music and lyric poetry). The singers gave brief interviews after the concert.

Magali Leger:

I am enchanted by the technical mastery and performance skills of the musicians playing in the Orchestra under Rasul Klychev as well as by the singing talent of Nury Nuryev with whom we teamed up and surprisingly quickly found harmony working together. The warm welcome from Ashgabat's public and the love for music expressed in the people's emotions touched and inspired me. From now on, Turkmenistan will have a special place in my heart.

Nury Nuryev:

I am filled with admiration for Magali Leger's talent, vocal flexibility and artistic ability. I am grateful to her for the invaluable experience of working together. Rasul Klychev and his Orchestra, who were at their best performing the pieces of classical music by European and Turkmen composers, provided the instrumental accompaniment as we sang in unison.

Source: Turkmenistan: the Golden Age Online Newspaper