French string quartet takes Assilah crowd on journey of rich classical repertoire

Soloists of the French chamber orchestra play some of the finest pieces of classical music From Nicolo Paganini to soundtrack legend Michel Legrand.

ASSILAH - The soloists of the French chamber orchestra entertained the crowd on Saturday night with a rich repertoire of classical music at the historic Raissouli Palace in the northern Moroccan city of Assilah on the sidelines of the 41st edition of the International Cultural Moussem of Assilah.

From Nicolo Paganini to soundtrack legend Michel Legrand, the string quartet, which is taking part in the Moussem for the fifth time, took the crowd throughout a historic journey of almost three centuries of classical music.

Founded in 1989, the Paris-based string quartet is one of the most renowned French chamber music ensembles.

“We offered the audience a variety of music by playing some of the finest classical music composers,” Solist Christian Raverdel told Middle East Online.

The French quartet began the evening with Nocturnal 2 in two movements by Italy’s Nicolo Paganini, who was the most celebrated violin virtuoso of his time. They played Giacomo Puccini’s masterpiece “Nessun Dorma” in their own unique and well-paced style.

Pieces from the prolific and influential composer of the classical era Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart were also part of the quartet’s one-hour concert. 

They also paid tribute to three French music legends Michel Legrand, Charles Aznavour and Edith Piaf by playing some of their finest music, including La Boheme and La Vie En Rose.

The quartet closed the concert with a piece by Polish-American virtuoso pianist, composer, and teacher Leopold Godowsky called Triakontameron Nr. 1 "Nocturnal Tangier," which he composed while on a visit to the northern Moroccan city.