The Belgian musician François Glorieux is a "special case" in the world of music : pianist, composer, conductor, professor, entertainer, arranger, founder of instrumental ensembles, he practises various musical genres ranging from classical (numerous concerts with the famous maestro André Cluytens) to pop (Michael Jackson asked him to write symphonic arrangements) not forgetting jazz (his name is often linked with Stan Kenton). Above all,he is unique for his astonishing improvisations with personal comments in five languages (a.o. Beatles songs). To illustrate his versatile career would require too much text, but a visit to the website www.francoisglorieux.com allows the reader to realize the importance of his biography.
Concerning his cd PRAHA,released at the 50th anniversary of his career,François Glorieux says :
"A dream came through thanks the latest extention of the European Community enabling to add on 10th May 2005 the Czech Republic (Prague) to the list of about sixty countries where I performed. I will never forget the ovation of the Prague's audience after my improvisation on Vltava (Moldau). On the poster of the concert one could read my name in the good company of violinist Jaroslav Svĕcený www.sveceny.cz as well as musician and painter Richard Pachman www.pachman.cz .
Several times invited by Richard, I discovered the beauty of the golden city. The fascinating variety of architecture - Romanic, Gothic, baroque, Renaissance, Art nouveau - inspired me to consecrate a recording dedicated to this exceptional city. The many contrasts offered me the possibility to display most of my musical passions : brass and percussion in large or small ensembles, solo violin and strings, piano and even song!
If some titles are obvious,such as "Hymna pro Prahu" (Hymn to Prague), "Slavonic Friendship", "Nightfall on Prague", "Vltava" as an improvised concertétude, other compositions need a little explanation.
"Praha" is a suite of 8 pieces : 1) Hradčany,the citadel with beautiful palaces and a breathtaking view on the city; 2) Petřín, or the high hill, an oasis of green and a favourite promenade for lovers;
3) Václavské Námĕstí (Wenceslas Square), a lively shopping centre with the statue of Wenceslas;
4) Vyšheradský Hřbitov, the cemetery of Vyšherad, where eminent Czech celebrities, such as the composers Dvořak and Smetana are buried; 5) Staromĕstské Námĕstí (The Old Town Square),
one of the most splendid squares of the world, including the monument of Jan Hus and the famous astronomical clock with the parade of apostles; 6) Karlův Most (Charles' Bridge), the busy meeting place across the Vltava; 7) The old narrow streets by night, where solitude is only lit by a few lanterns; 8) Křižíkova Fontána, a pop music evocation of the sound and light shows at the many fountains of Křižík.
"Souvenirs of Prague" contains : 1) The Prague's Spring,dramatically depicted; 2) Čertovka, a pictoresque brook; 3) Bertramka (Mozart Museum); 4) Chrám Svatý Vít (St Vitus Cathedral); 5) Vila Amerika (Dvořak Museum); 6) Karlova (Charles Street) with the touristic crowds.
"Vinohrady" has several parks and "neo" buildings, which create a particularly charming atmosphere.
"In memoriam Jan Palach" is a tribute to the student who set himself alight to protest against the Soviet invasion of 1968.
Two compositions of Richard Pachman inspired me improvised arrangements : "Myšlenky" (Thinking) and "Neodvolám" (I don't recant) where the author sings in Czech and describes the last letter of reformer Jan Hus,condemned to the stake in 1415.
"The Old Lady" is an ode to Prague, in close collaboration with Richard Pachman,for the sung refrain and for the narration in English.”