France has inspired adoration and emulation in art and fashion ever since the Renaissance; be it in painting, literature, philosophy, or music, it has scaled to peaks previously unseen by human culture. For several hundred years, the French maintained tradition while aspiring to revolution, embracing their adventurous spirit of keen insight, bold action, romantic temperament, and fine taste. They produced innumerable works that spoke to their age and shaped for themselves a wide-reaching cultural identity.
Virtuoso violinist Olivier Charlier, a teacher at the highest institution of musical education in France—the Paris Conservatory, is intimately familiar with French music, history, and traditions and understands the deeper cultural significance they embody. Recently, in September 2019, Charlier collaborated with Baroque Camerata in a breathtaking musical dialogue in Taiwan’s southern city of Kaohsiung. From Lully to Rameau, from them to Fauré, and finally to Debussy and Ravel, 300 years of French music was transmitted to the audience of the present. Behind the work are a series of short rendezvouses and constant fine-tuning between the masters and the orchestra. From the expansive to the detailed, using the multiple modes of chamber orchestras, solo performances, and concertos, the collaboration produced a scintillatingly beautiful French tapestry—Iamge France.
This album, from start to finish, conveys the delicacy, emotion, and many faces and styles inherent in the French character; but that is not to say that the album is completely French—it combines what is singular about both Taiwanese and French musical styles, producing something singular in its own right. Notes compose poems, movements paint pictures, paeans rise in song—these are Image France.