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Cat. No. CHAN 9758 Price: £10.5 No. of discs: 1
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CHAN 9758 - Lalo: Violin Concerto · Le Roi d'Ys
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Available From: 21 October 1999
The music on this CD spans the richly mature decade of Lalo’s fifties. In 1873 Lalo met the virtuoso violinist Sarasate and began work on the Violin Concert, Op. 20 which Sarasate premiered the following year. It is a work rich in technical invention and seductive melodies. Lalo was very concerned about melody, believing that although the essence of a good melody cannot be explained, without it, all technical skill at musical development would be wasted.

Saraste soon became Lalo’s closest friend and the single most important influence on his mature career. For some reason Lalo was unable to persuade Sarasate to perform his Concerto russe, Op. 29, even though it was spiced with the local colour which had made the Symphonie espagnole such a success. In trying to persuade Saraste he wrote; ‘depending on one’s taste one might prefer either the lively expression of the Concerto in F, or the shimmering colours of the Symphonies espagnole, or the pungency and melancholy of the Concerto ruse’.

The original version of the overture to the opera Le Roi d’Ys was given at a concert performance in 1876, and Lalo made a revised version in1878. In music of touching eloquence and dramatic sweep the overture sets the mood of the opera and hints at the action to come.

The Scherzo of Lalo’s Piano Trio No. 3 was symphonic in feel. He elaborated the sonority that was there in embryo to create the Scherzo in D minor, demonstrating once again his command of the orchestra – all part of an artistry which, in Dukas’s telling phrase, ‘resounds with vibrant clarity’.
Lalo - BBC PO, Tortelier

Yan Pascal Tortelier opens with a marvellously rumbustious account of the Le Roi d'Ys Overture, with its melodramatic brass and luscious cello solo, and includes an equally fine account of the splendid orchestral Scherzo. But the main value of this disc is Olivier Charlier's seductive accounts of the two concertante works (both written for Sarasate). The Violin Concerto is engagingly songful and ought to be better known, but the real find is the Concerto russe, in essence a sister work to the Symphonie espagnole, but with Slavic rather than sultry Spanish inspiration. The Intermezzo has witty offbeat comments from the timpani and there is a sparkling finale introducing two more striking ideas. Charlier is obviously in his element throughout both works, relishing their lyricism. Tortelier - with the help of Lalo - provides a vivid orchestral backcloth and the opulent, well-balanced Chandos recording adds to the listener's pleasure.
The Penguin Guide to Compact Discs
Reviews

…Olivier Charlier is staggering virtuosic… Yan Pascal Tortelier and the BBC Philharmonic are matchless in this music. Very highly recommended indeed.
The Guardian

Yan Pascal Tortleier and the BBC Philharmonic are matchless in this music. Very highly recommended indeed.
The Guardian

 

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