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Fuga Libera is pleased to present Christian Arming, the new conductor and artistic director of the Liège Royal Philharmonic Orchestra. For this recording project with Liège, the Austrian conductor gives his point of view on the musical spirit of the Franco?Belgian composer César Franck. Opening the disc is the great Symphony in D minor by the master from Liège, followed by two rare works: the symphonic poem Ce qu’on entend sur la montagne and the ballet music from the opera Hulda. Ce qu’on entend sur la montagne (64 handwritten pages) takes inspiration from Victor Hugo's homonymous poem. This 1846 score might very well constitute the first symphonic poem in history. Although Liszt indeed undertook the composition of a similar work – on the same poem –, he would wait until 1849?50 to put the final touches to it and entitle it ‘Bergsinfonie’. The ballet music from the opera Hulda, entitled 'The Struggle of Winter and Springtime’, is organized in five movements, adopting the form of a symphony. Franck said about it: 'I believe that the ballet from Hulda is a very good thing and I am happy with it; I have just played it… and I danced!'

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