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Cat. No. CHSA 5122 Price: 11.5 No. of discs: 1
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CHSA 5122 - Chabrier: Orchestral Works
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Available From: 18 April 2013
Chabrier: Orchestral Works

This album of popular works by Emmanuel Chabrier marks the beginning of a new series of French repertoire, performed by the Orchestre de la Suisse Romande under its newly appointed Artistic Director, Neeme Järvi.

After three attempts at comic opera, Chabrier finally achieved success in 1877 with L’Étoile, the plotline of which is set in the court of the somewhat emotionally unstable King Ouf. A couple of years previously, Chabrier had written a short Lamento for orchestra, a work which would not perhaps be considered revolutionary by today’s audiences, but which caused the committee of the Société nationale de musique to hum and haw over it for eighteen long months before finally letting it loose on the Parisian public in 1878.

From July to December 1882, Chabrier took his family on an extended holiday to Spain, during which he kept himself busy by noting down the Spanish folk tunes and dance rhythms he encountered on his way. He put many of them into his orchestral masterpiece España, a work overwhelming in its orchestral colour, which is such a characteristic feature of this composer. The impressions of his Spanish holiday can also be heard in the Habanera.

For six years Chabrier worked on Gwendoline, a two-act dramatic opera on a libretto by Catulle Mendès, set in Britain in what he called ‘barbarous times’. Inspired by Wagner and Berlioz, the Overture sets the scene perfectly for a drama of violence, treachery, and passion. A month after Gwendoline was premiered in Brussels in April 1886 the Opéra-Comique in Paris agreed to put on Chabrier’s next opera, Le Roi malgré lui, a melting pot of complex political intrigue, cheerful arias, and vivacious dances.

In 1880 Chabrier had written his Dix Pièces pittoresques for piano, and over the next few years he orchestrated four of them to form the Suite pastorale, with its gently pulsing ‘Idylle’ movement (which inspired Poulenc to become a composer), the raucous ‘Danse villageoise’, the sultry ‘Sous-bois’, and last but not least the sunny, high-spirited ‘Scherzo-valse’.

Also on this release is the Joyeuse marche, one of Chabrier’s most popular works, and the Bourrée fantasque, based on a dance from the Auvergne region in France where the composer had spent his childhood.

Reviews

 "...Engineering is superb, with warm, vividly detailed sonices that place the listener in a credible space, in this case in the fables acoustic of Victoria Hall, Geneva..."                     Ronald E Grames
"...Järvi’s brisk, energetic style suits this music perfectly. He brings exuberance to the Joyeuse marche, which the composer himself described as "crazy", finds all the myriad colors in the popular masterwork España, and paces the "Féte polonaise" from Le Roi malgré lui with such brio that it sounds like a freshly refurbished carousel."  Phillip Scott
"...Järvi is convincing in all this rare content - and that’s not just a statement of support because the music is difficult to find, either. His handling of instrumental textures is masterly, and the energy he brings to everything here, convincing... With good sound and the Suisse Romande in fine form, get this one for the unfamiliar content ..." Barry Brenesal
Fanfare - November/December 2014

"... it is good to find Järvi recording music by Chabrier, whose orchestral output may well be a little greater than many people imagine. There are gems here, so I should add that Chabrier’s orchestral music is also of higher quality than is generally acknowledged. Certainly most of it is imbued with sunshine and joie de vivre... Järvi has a good instinct for this delightful music [Suite pastorale], the composer’s own orchestration of four of his marvellous Dix Pièces pittoresques for piano... I believe he [Järvi] has an affinity with this music. Järvi gives a magnificent performance of the Bourrée fantasque ... This is among the finest recordings I have heard... The Habanera shows yet another different aspect of Chabrier and here Järvi is delightfully characterful and rhythmically buoyant... The final track, the Danse slave, shows Järvi at his most engaged..."
Philip Borg-Wheeler - MusicWeb-International.com - 31 January 2014 

 

                              **** - Excellent 
Giuseppe Rossi - Musica magazine - November 2013

                    Orchestral Choice 
        Performance *****        Recording *****
"This will lift the spirits ... superb surround sound recording."
Christopher Dingle - BBC Music magazine - September 2013

“...Järvi brings both sympathy and solid podium technique to bear on his interpretations... the icing on this rather lovely confection is the superb surround sound provided by Chandos. It has all the impact, depth, and presence I’ve come to expect from the best SACD productions. I’m pretty sure that if you invest in this collection, it will be your favorite way to hear Chabrier from now on.”     *****
 
Lee Passarella – Audiophile Audition.com – 19 July 2013 

“...it is Chabrier’s own personality that shines through the nine works performed with luminous warmth by the Orchestre de la Suisse Romande under its music and artistic director Neemi Järvi. No Charbrier programme would really be complete without España , and here is is played with exuberance and gleaming colour tempered appropriately with Gallic taste... Extracts from the operas l’étoile and Le Roi malgré lui attest to the range of Chabrier’s output , the unifying feeling being the sheer joy, craftsmanship and radiance that Chabrier’s music possesses and which these performances encapsulate so ear-catchingly.”
 
Geoffrey Norris – Gramophone magazine – July 2013
 

“...It’s all dashingly played by the Suisse Romande Orchestra of which Jarvi is now principle conductor. Chabrier wrote to entertain his audiences and this is exactly what the programme does.”
 
Peter Spaull – Liverpool Daily Post – June 2013   
 

 "... Recorded SACD sound from Geneva’s historic Victoria Hall is entralling in its detail and dynamic range and Roger Nichols’s admirable booklet notes complete this wonderfully entertaining package. This is totally persuasive and irrisistible music-making from Järvi and the OSR, a magnificent orchestra ... Highly recommended."
Michael Jameson - International Record Review - June 2013

"... much to get pleasure from, and Ralph Couzens’s engineering – for sound that is vivid and within a defined acoustic – is impressive on its own terms."
 
Colin Anderson - classicalsource.com - May 2013

 

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