Two of France’s greatest composers were celebrated during this month’s 'Philharmonic at the library' event at Qatar National Library recently, which also marks the beginning of the Qatar-France Year of Culture that will be celebrated throughout 2020.
Claude Debussy and Gabriel Faure were two of the most influential classical music composers of the late 19th and early 20th centuries, and the only string quartets they wrote in their remarkable lifetimes were played at this very special event.
A highly-acclaimed ensemble performed Debussy’s String Quartet in G Minor and Faure’s String Quartet in E Minor.
Like Faure, this was Debussy’s only venture into composing a string quartet, which he completed in 1893 at the age of 31.
Franck Gellet, French ambassador to Qatar, said: “It’s a privilege for us to be hosted by Qatar National Library, which I've discovered is also a place where music is honoured. I knew there were concerts but was not aware there was a musical department with instrumental documents. This is an additional reason for me to come to the library.
"What I appreciate most is the library’s hospitality and interest in the Qatar-France Year of Culture through the music of Fauré and Debussy - two important French composers of their time, and until today. Thank you for the tribute. We are very appreciative of Qatar National Library.”
Jasmeen Ul-Haque, assistant executive director at Hamad Medical Corporation, said: “I’ve been in Qatar for 10 years and I think the library is one of the country's most amazing buildings; the facilities offered to the community are superb. I love classical music and I brought my mum here who is visiting from Germany. I think it’s a wonderful way to bring different communities and cultures together because music is a unifying factor and here you can see the old and the contemporary coming together."
Omar Ibrahim, one of the library's patrons who attended the concert, added: "I learned about the event from the library's website, and because I am a fan of classical music, I made sure to come to the library and enjoy the music with the books surrounding us from all sides, it is really a unique experience. And I like to live it in the library from time to time."