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Cat. No. CHAN 9897 Price: £10.5 No. of discs: 1
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CHAN 9897 - French Wind Band Classics
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Available From: 23 November 2000
When in 1840 Berlioz was invited to write a work to celebrate the tenth anniversary of the July Revolution, he responded with great enthusiasm and produced the Grande Symphonie funèbre et triomphale. He raised and conducted a military band of 200 players, but even with such forces the sound was lost in the open air. The symphony is unusual, having its three movements in three different keys. The first and last movements, respectively a funeral march and a triumphal march, frame the central ‘Oraison funèbre’ (Funeral Oration) which features a solo trombone recitative and aria.

Saint-Saëns’s ‘Occident’ is characterised by a fine sweeping melody of great energy, followed by a trio which might have been written by a British march composer. The central section is a Moderato assai sostenuto with a janissary accompaniment to a unison melody typical of nineteenth-century French ballet and operatic forays into the ‘Orient’.

Dionysiaques, written for the Garde republicaine in 1914, was not performed until 1925. Although there is nothing of the rhythmic complexity of Stravinsky’s Le Sacre du printemps of the previous year, there is the same elemental intensity, as if derived from a Dionysian orgy.

Milhuad’s Suite française was premiered by the Goldman Band in 1945; later it was rescored for symphony orchestra and premiered by the New York Philharmonic Orchestra. The five parts of the suite are named after the French provinces from which the folk tunes used in each part are taken.

Bozza’s Children’s Overture was first performed in 1964 and is based on a number of French nursery and folk-tunes. A poignant slow passage is framed by two energetic Allegro vivo sections.
Reviews

‘There are only a handful of conductors who know this repertoire really well and Tim Reynish rules supremely amongst them. His interpretations are authoritative, as are his programme notes, and I cannot recommend this CD too strongly to serious bandsmen.’
Brass Review

‘The performances are exemplary, beautifully phrased and balanced, and the sound is rich.’
Gramophone on CHAN 9805 (German Wind Band Classics)

‘This disc of ‘British Wind Band Classics’ contains some real musical treats, played with relish and a true rhythmic verve…’
BBC Music Magazine on CHAN 9697 (British Wind Band Classics)

 

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