Classical The best music site on the web there is where you can read about and listen to blues, jazz, classical music and much more. This is your ultimate music resource. Tons of albums can be found within. Sat, 02 Dec 2023 18:12:51 +0000 Joomla! 1.5 - Open Source Content Management en-gb Édouard Lalo - Le roi d'Ys (The King of Ys) (1957/1983) Édouard Lalo - Le roi d'Ys (The King of Ys) (1957/1983)

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1.Le Roi d'Ys: Ouverture	11:56 	
2.Le Roi d'Ys, Act 1: "Noël ! Noël ! Noël ! (Choeurs, Jahel)	3:11 	
3.Le Roi d'Ys, Act 1: "Les guerres sont terminées (Choeurs)	2:50 	
4.Le Roi d'Ys, Act 1: "Margared, ô ma soeur (Margared, Rozenn)	2:34 	
5.Le Roi d'Ys, Act 1: "En silence pourquoi souffrir (Margared, Rozenn)	5:37 	
6.Le Roi d'Ys, Act 1: "Venez, l'heure presse ! (Choeurs, Margared, Rozenn)	2:02 	
7.Le Roi d'Ys, Act 1: "Vainement, j'ai parlé (Rozenn)	0:39 	
8.Le Roi d'Ys, Act 1: "Par une chaîne trop forte (Rozenn)	1:36 	
9.Le Roi d'Ys, Act 1: "Si le ciel est plein de flammes (Mylio, Rozenn)	2:41 	
10.Le Roi d'Ys, Ac 1: "Désireux d'accomplir l'union résolue (Karnac, Le Roi)	1:42 	
11.Le Roi d'Ys, Act 1: "Dans un rival je trouve un fils (Le Roi)	0:25 	
12.Le Roi d'Ys, Act 1: "Aux jours futurs j'ai dû songer (Le Roi)	1:18 	
13.Le Roi d'Ys, Act 1: "Nous voulons ici leur promettre obéissance (Choeurs)	3:41 	
14.Le Roi d'Ys, Act 1: "O criminelle démence ! (Rozenn, Margared, Mylio, Karnac, Le Roi, Choeurs)	2:34 	
15.Le Roi d'Ys, Act 2: "De tous côtés j'aperçois (Margared)	3:33 	
16.Le Roi d'Ys, Act 2: "Lorsque je t'ai vu soudain reparaître (Margared)	3:42 	
17.Le Roi d'Ys, Act 2: "Que demain au lever de l'aurore (Le Roi)	1:40 	
18.Le Roi d'Ys, Act 2: "Oui, je le sens (Mylio)	1:12 	
19.Le Roi d'Ys, Act 2: "Le ciel saura bénir nos armes (Rozenn, Margared, Mylio, Le Roi)	3:34 	
20.Le Roi d'Ys, Act 2: "Quand pour lui chacun fait des voeux (Margared)	1:11 	
21.Le Roi d'Ys, Act 2: "Tais-toi, Margared (Rozenn)	1:02 	
22.Le Roi d'Ys, Act 2: "Que ta justice fasse taire (Rozenn)	3:26 	
23.Le Roi d'Ys, Act 2: "Victoire ! Honneur à Mylio (Choeurs, Mylio)	2:24 	
24.Le Roi d'Ys, Act 2: "Perdu ! Je suis perdu ! (Karnac)	1:44 	
25.Le Roi d'Ys, Act 2: "L'enfer t'écoute (Margared, Karnac)	3:21 	
26.Le Roi d'Ys, Act 2: "Malheur sur vous ! (Saint-Corentin, Choeurs)	3:07 	
27.Le Roi d'Ys, Act 3: "Ouvrez cette porte à la fiancée (Choeurs, Mylio)	3:41 	
28.Le Roi d'Ys, Act 3: "Puisqu'on ne peut fléchir ... Vainement, ma bien-aimée (Mylio, Choeurs)	3:43 	
29.Le Roi d'Ys, Act 3: "Pourquoi lutter de la sorte (Rozenn, Choeurs)	3:03 	
30.Le Roi d'Ys, Act 3: "Allons, pas de lâches faiblesses (Karnac, Margared, Choeurs)	1:47 	
31.Le Roi d'Ys, Act 3: "Vois ton amant joyeux et beau (Karnac, Margared, Choeurs)	2:10 	
32.Le Roi d'Ys, Act 3: "Ah ! Qu'ils périssent ! (Margared, Karnac, Choeurs, Rozenn, Mylio)	2:24 	
33.Le Roi d'Ys, Act 3: "A l'autel, j'allais rayonnant ! (Mylio, Rozenn)	4:28 	
34.Le Roi d'Ys, Act 3: "Je reviendrai bientôt (Rozenn, Margared, Le Roi)	1:07 	
35.Le Roi d'Ys, Act 3: "Que dans l'asile choisi (Le Roi, Rozenn, Margared)	1:30 	
36.Le Roi d'Ys, Act 3: "Ces rumeurs, ces cris d'alarme (Le Roi, Rozenn, Margared, Mylio, Choeurs)	1:48 	
37.Le Roi d'Ys, Act 3: "Ô puissance infinie ! (Choeurs)	1:32 	
38.Le Roi d'Ys, Act 3: "L'eau monte ! (Choeurs, Le Roi, Mylio)	3:43 	
39.Le Roi d'Ys, Act 3: "Ah ! mon juge m'appelle (Margared, Choeurs)	1:08 	
40.Le Roi d'Ys, Act 3: "Gloire à Saint-Corentin (Choeurs, Mylio)	0:51 	

Rozenn – Janine Micheau (soprano)
Margared – Rita Gorr (mezzo-soprano)
Mylio – Henri Legay	(tenor)
Karnak – Jean Borthayre (baritone)
Le Roi – Pierre Savignol (bass)
Saint Corentin – Jacques Mars
Jahel – Serge Rallier

Chœurs de la Radiodiffusion française
Orchestre national de la Radiodiffusion française
Conductor – André Cluytens

rec. 10-15.VI.1957, Paris, Salle de la Mutualité


Lalo’s Le Roi d’Ys draws on the same Breton myth of a submerged city as Debussy’s La Cathédrale engloutie. A great success at its 1888 premiere at Paris’s Opéra Comique, it even reached the Metropolitan Opera, New York, but its current rarity on the world’s stages makes this classic 1957 recording still more treasurable. The performers’ Gallic credentials are impeccable, even though both Rita Gorr and André Cluytens were natives of Flanders. Like soprano Janine Micheau and tenor Henri Legay, Cluytens enjoyed close links to the Opéra Comique, spending six years as its music director. ---Editorial Reviews


Best known outside France for his Symphonie espagnole (1874), Edouard Lalo was recognized in his own country almost entirely for his opera Le roi d'Ys (The King of Ys). Lalo began setting Edouard Blau's libretto, about the legendary Breton city, in 1875. After the Théâtre-Lyrique rejected the opera in 1878 and the Paris Opéra did the same in 1879, Lalo extracted several numbers from the work and performed them in concert. In 1886, he completely revised the work and tried once again to find a company to stage it; two years later, the Opéra-Comique finally agreed to produce the opera. The premiere was nearly a disaster: The management of the Opéra-Comique (performing in the Théâtre des Nations) oversold the house, causing such a commotion that the audience did not quiet down until the beginning of the second act. Still, those who managed to find seats enjoyed what they heard, enthusiastically applauding and calling for encores. Le roi d'Ys became Lalo's most successful work for the stage, achieving its 100th performance at the Opéra-Comique by the following June.

The opera would have been more appropriately named "Margared d'Ys," for the King has a very small role and is not pivotal to the story. Margared, on the other hand, is onstage throughout the opera and is a character of tremendous depth, torn between succumbing to her own passions and doing what is right for others. In the manner of Wagner's Ortrud, Margared redeems herself through self-sacrifice at the end of the opera. Lalo created the role of Margared for his wife, the singer Julie de Maligny, though she never actually performed it. She did, however, perform several of the arias in concert.

Other characters are more predictable. Mylio and Rozenn have no hidden agendas, and their music is consistent from scene to scene. Karnac's music is sinister from the outset, belying his verbal assurance that he is now an ally of the King. St. Corentin functions as a deus ex machina. Both musically and dramatically, the two couples, Margared and Karnac, and Mylio and Rozenn, are juxtaposed in a manner similar to the way Wagner draws the "good" and "bad" couples in Lohengrin.

The overture unfolds along the lines of early nineteenth century models, functioning as a preview of what is to come. References to music associated with Mylio, Rozenn and the people of Ys (along with a quote from Tannhäuser) make up the material, which receives wonderfully transparent orchestration. Indeed, throughout the entire opera the orchestration is clear and subservient to the melodic lines, which are generally simple and diatonic. Lalo uses instrumental color as a backdrop for the vocal parts, increasing the importance of the orchestra in the large ensembles.

In Le roi d'Ys Lalo writes in a chromatic idiom that is more akin to music of Liszt than that of Wagner. Forceful 6/8 meters, a favorite of the composer, underline the most dramatic sections. Some of the choruses suggest an echo of Breton folk songs, which Lalo surely learned from his Bretonese wife (who also may have brought the legend of Ys to her husband's attention in the first place). Although Le roi d'Ys contains certain characteristics of traditional grand opera, this highly individual work marks a new direction in French music of its time. ---John Palmer,

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]]> (bluesever) Lalo Edouard Wed, 08 Aug 2018 10:52:07 +0000
Edouard Lalo: Symphony in G, Divertimento, Rhapsody, Scherzo (1995) Edouard Lalo: Symphony in G, Divertimento, Rhapsody, Scherzo (1995)

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Symphony In G Minor
1. I. Andante-Allegro non troppo
2. II. Vivace
3. III. Adagio
4. IV. Allegro

Norwegian Rhapsody for Orchestra
5. I. Andantino. Allegretto
6. II. Presto

7. Scherzo for Orchestra in D minor. Presto

Divertissement for Orchestra
8. I. Introduction (Andante)-Allegretto
9. II. Vivace
10. III. Andantino
IV. Allegro con fuoco

Basel Symphony Orchestra
Giancarlo Andretta – conductor


Lalo was born in Lille (Nord), in northernmost France. He attended that city's music conservatory in his youth. Then, beginning at age 16, Lalo studied at the Paris Conservatoire under Berlioz's old enemy François Antoine Habeneck. For several years, he worked as a string player and teacher in Paris. In 1848, he joined with friends to found the Armingaud Quartet, playing viola and later second violin. Lalo's earliest surviving compositions are songs and chamber works (two early symphonies were destroyed).

Julie Besnier de Maligny, a contralto from Brittany, became his bride in 1865. She aroused Lalo's early interest in opera and led him to compose works for the stage. Unfortunately, they were deemed too progressive and Wagnerian and were not initially well received despite their freshness and originality. This led him to dedicate most of his career to the composition of chamber music, which was gradually coming into vogue for the first time in France, and works for orchestra.

Although Lalo is not one of the most immediately recognized names in French music, his distinctive style has earned him some degree of popularity. Symphonie espagnole for violin and orchestra still enjoys a prominent place in violinists' repertoire, and is known in many classical circles simply as "The Lalo". Lalo is also known for his Cello Concerto in D minor. The same Breton legend that inspired "Le roi d'Ys" also influenced, to some extent, his Symphony in G minor (a favorite of Sir Thomas Beecham) and various chamber works.

Lalo's idiom is notable for strong melodies and colourful orchestration, with a rather Germanic solidity that distinguishes him from other French composers of his era. Such works as the Scherzo in D minor, one of Lalo's most colorful pieces, might be considered appropriate embodiments of his distinctive style and strong expressive bent.

It was not till his late forties that Lalo gained fame as a composer. Le roi d'Ys (The King of Ys), an opera based on the Breton legend of Ys, is his most complex and ambitious creation. (The same legend inspired Claude Debussy to compose his famous piano piece, La cathédrale engloutie.) The opera was rejected for 10 years after its composition and was not performed until 1888, when Lalo was 65 years old. He was made a knight (chevalier) of the Legion of Honour in 1880. He died in Paris in 1892, leaving several unfinished works, and was interred at the Père Lachaise Cemetery.

About the Symphony in G:

This work was written in the same year as the popular Symphony in D minor of César Franck, and the two works have more in common than simply their coincidence in time. Both reveal strong influence from Wagner, and both are based on the development of a single motive and thus represent the cyclic form principle championed by Liszt. Unfortunately, Lalo's work has fallen into relative neglect, despite the efforts of conductor Sir Thomas Beecham. The work comprises four movements. It opens with an Andante introduction that presents the motto theme in minor mode. The Allegro non troppo that follows is based on two subjects, the first dramatic and rhythmic, the second tinged by wistfulness. The development is brief. The recapitulation is followed by a coda based on the motto of the introduction. The second movement, Vivace, is a rhythmic scherzo which in its core hides a moving, melancholic theme. Its development reaches tragic proportions, but the scherzo rhythm returns to lift the mood. The last section has a particularly incisive rhythm, but the closing brings an echo of the melancholic theme. The third movement, Adagio, is like an extended song. It opens with the strings in a pensive major mode, gradually leading to a peak of feeling. The second part of the movement brings a pastoral feeling, leading to a full-throated statement of the motto theme, after which the music dies out. The finale, Allegro, is a rondo with an peculiar rhythm suggesting a hopping march. The conclusion recalls the closing pages of the first movement and the motto theme, ending on a tragic note. ---

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]]> (bluesever) Lalo Edouard Thu, 13 Jan 2011 10:40:00 +0000
Eduard Lalo & Arthur Coquard - La Jacquerie (2016) Eduard Lalo & Arthur Coquard - La Jacquerie (2016)

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Act I Scene 1: Introduction: Grâce, pitié! (Chorus, The Seneschal)	2:31
Act I Scene 1: Monsieur le Sénéchal (Jeanne, The Seneschal, Guillame)	2:57
Act I Scene 2: Air: Jacques Bonhomme! (Guillame, Chorus)	2:28
Act I Scene 3: Ce jour viendra (Jeanne, Robert, Guillame, Chorus)	1:44
Act I Scene 4: Duo: Quelle pensée le ramène (Jeanne, Robert)	1:40
Act I Scene 5: Arioso et suite du duo: En rouvrant la paupière (Jeanne, Robert)	3:19
Act I Scene 5: Allez! Prenez mes hommes (Blanche, Chorus, The Baron)	2:24
Act I Scene 6: Récit et air: Pourquoi ne pas l’aimer (Blanche)	3:38
Act I Scene 7: Non! Ma mère, j’irai (Blanche, Jeanne, Robert)	1:06

Act II Scene: Prélude orchestral	2:23
Act II Scene 1: Eh bien! Robert! (Robert, Guillame, Chorus)	4:41
Act II Scene 1: Air: Sont-ils plus durs (Guillame, Robert)	1:58
Act II Scene 1: Tais-toi Guillaume! (Robert, Guillame, Chorus)	1:02
Act II Scene 2: Toi, leur chef? (Jeanne, Robert)	1:21
Act II Scene 2: Arioso: Reste auprès d'elle (Jeanne, Robert Guillame)	1:29
Act II Scene 2: Arioso: J'aime mieux avoir faim (Jeanne, Robert)	3:48
Act II Scene 2: Stabat mater: Mais vois! Notre-Dame Marie (Jeanne, Robert, Chorus)	2:44
Act II Scene 2: Écoutez tous! (Jeanne, Robert, Chorus)	0:59

Act III: Prélude orchestral	1:12
Act III Scene 1: Ballet - Fête du printemps: Danse noble	4:31
Act III Scene 1: Ballet - Fête du printemps: Musique de scène	1:02
Act III Scene 1: Ballet - Fête du printemps: Sérénade	1:53
Act III Scene 1: Chœur: Vive le Mai! (Blanche, Chorus)	4:38
Act III Scene 2: Dieu! Comme cette odeur (Blanche)	1:55
Act III Scene 3: Duo: Seule… et tout bas rêvant (Blanche, Chorus)	4:23
Act III Scene 4: Ooooh… Ooooh… (Blanche, The Count, Chorus)	2:09
Act III Scene 5: Franchise! (Chorus, The Count, Robert, Guillame)	1:35
Act III Scene 6: Auprès de leur seigneur (Robert, The Count)	1:48
Act III Scene 6: Prenez garde! (Blance, Robert, Guillame, The Count, Chorus)	1:55
Act III Scene 7: Ni taille, ni corvée (Blanche, Robert, Guillame, The Count, Chorus)	5:56

Act IV: Prélude orchestra	l3:25
Act IV Scene 1: Introduction: Je ne le verrai plus (Blanche)	1:20
Act IV Scene 1: On ne voit point d'ici la route (Jeanne, Blanche)	2:48
Act IV Scene 1: Sans parler de tourment (Jeanne, Blanche)	2:04
Act IV Scene 1: Désormais leurs jours sont comptés (Jeanne, Blanche)	1:09
Act IV Scene 1: Pitié pour eux (Jeanne, Blanche)	3:13
Act IV Scene 1: Ah! La faiblesse (Jeanne)	2:08
Act IV Scene 2: Blanche! Dieu, seule ici (Robert)	2:10
Act IV Scene 2: Il me faut son pardon (Blanche, Robert)	2:07
Act IV Scene 2: Je ne puis écouter ces mots (Blanche, Robert, Guillame)	0:54
Act IV Scene 3: Guillaume! (Robert, Guillame)	1:50
Act IV Scene 4: Ah! Je suis un maudit (Blanche, Robert)	2:52
Act IV Scene 4: Vous m'aimez? (Blanche, Robert)	3:23
Act IV Scene 4: Duo avec chœur: Être en?n délivrés du poids (Blanche, Robert, Chorus)	4:31
Act IV Scene 6: Écoutez! (Jeanne, Blanche, Robert)	1:24
Act IV Scene 6: Mourir était si doux (Blanche, Jeanne, Robert, Guillame)	2:07

Véronique Gens - soprano (Blanche de Sainte-Croix)
Nora Gubisch - mezzo-soprano (Jeanne)
Charles Castronovo - tenor (Robert)
Boris Pinkhasovich - baritone (Guillaume)
Jean-Sébastien Bou - bass-baritone (Le Comte de Sainte-Croix)
Patrick Bolleire - bass (Le Sénéchal)
Enguerrand de Hys - tenor (Le Baron de Savigny)

Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France
Patrick Davin - conductor


Late in life, Lalo had tasted sweet celebrity with his opera Le roi d’Ys finally staged in 1888 after it had been turned down by both the Théâtre Lyrique and the Opéra de Paris. Le roi d’Ys, based on an old Breton legend of the drowned city of Ys, was extraordinarily successful with 100 performances reached within a year of its opening. Thus encouraged, Lalo was fired to create another operatic triumph. He turned to the bloody peasant uprising of 1358, known as La Jacquerie, after the English won the Battle of Poitiers and captured King John II of France. They extorted a heavy ransom for him which was so crippling that the French nobility, in turn, demanded even heavier taxes from the peasants, already crushed under the weight of existing tributes, and reduced to poverty and hunger.

The action of the Lalo/Coquard opera takes place near Beauvais in the village of Saint-Leu-de-Cérent. The Count wants to marry his daughter, Blanche, to the Baron de Savigny. The Count expects his peasants to stump up the necessary dowry. This is brutally demanded by the Count’s vicious Sénéchal. Understandably, the peasants are appalled; this is the last straw and they, especially the hot-headed Guillaume, thirst for bloody revolt. At this moment Robert arrives on the scene. He has just returned from Paris where he had been involved in rebellion and was hurt and nursed by Blanche. Love had flared between them. Robert is more cautious about rebellion and suggests a more peaceful solution and compromise. His mother, Jeanne, does not want him involved and Robert has to convince her that it is in the interests of France and liberty that he leads the peasantry. In the Count’s castle merrymaking ensues. The peasants storm the castle and demand the Count accept their conditions which he haughtily refuses. Guillaume, impatient, sees red and all hell is let loose. The Count is slain. Guillaume is about to kill Blanche when Robert notices her and recognises her as the girl who had nursed him in Paris. At the risk of being branded a traitor, he defends her and escapes with her but they are separated. Later the nobility regroup and the peasants’ uprising is crushed. The peasants are being hunted down everywhere. Blanche is with Jeanne. Robert arrives as Jeanne leaves to look for him. Blanche accuses him of killing her father, an allegation he indignantly denies. Guillaume appears and accuses Robert of being a traitor. As both Robert and Blanche are about to die they confess their love for each other. The seigneurs arrive to save Blanche but Guillaume, accusing Robert of treachery, plunges a dagger into his heart. A distraught Blanche resolves to enter a convent.

The hardback book, published in French and English (in black and blue inks respectively), covers this storyline in detail as well as Lalo’s contribution to French music including the success of Le Roi d’Ys. La Jacquerie is based on a poem by Édouard Blau, librettist of Le Roi d’Ys and co-author of Massenet’s Werther and Le Cid. Blau’s work had, in turn, been influenced by Prosper Mérimée’s Scènes féodales concerning the peasant uprising. Arguments erupted between Blau and Lalo who resisted any idea that a love story be introduced that would dilute the grim reality of La Jacquerie. However, Lalo had only time to work on Act I before he died, although sketches were evidently available for the succeeding Acts’ music, to guide Coquard in completing the opera. The love interest was included - one might judge it a practical necessity to balance so much bestiality. An article on how the opera was staged and how those stage directions were lost and found again makes fascinating reading. Even more interesting, is an in-depth review of the Paris premiere of the work by one Arthur Pougin published in La Ménestrel of 29 December 1895 in which he heaps praise on Coquard’s completion and especially the second act of the opera. It's an Act that incidentally has no love interest, but includes Jeanne’s pleading that Robert play no part in the insurrection; he is finally persuaded that it is his patriotic duty, and she kneels at the foot of the cross to pray for his survival as the peasants sing the Stabat Mater. An extensive synopsis is included as is the full libretto, and photographs of the singers. What is missing is an appreciation of the production we hear on the CD - how it developed, and what influences and opinions guided Patrick Davin in his interpretation of this opera.

My own impressions are that the 1895 critic had covered the few strengths and considerable weaknesses of La Jacquerie very well. The love interest between Robert and Blanche is tepid, too much happens off-stage, and it is too often trite and, especially in Act IV, feeble, and limp-wristed. Much more interesting are the exchanges between Robert and his mother Jeanne – and between Jeanne and Blanche in Act IV. Charles Castronovo as Robert does what he can with his material but scores more heavily when he comes up against the reckless, impetuous Guillaume (boldly portrayed by Boris Pinkhasovich). Similarly of note is Robert persuades Jeanne of the righteousness of his cause. Véronique Gens as Blanche, again does what she can with her material pleasantly and sympathetically but scores in her Act IV exchanges over Robert (lover vs mother) with Jeanne. The stand-out performance is Gubisch’s strong portrayal of the sorrowing mother Jeanne. She really immerses herself in the role and convinces piquantly. Bolleire’s Sénéchal is blackly sinister and unfeelingly brutal. Quite the contrary is Bou who is a sympathetic Count and father caught up in events beyond his understanding and control. Davin’s orchestra delivers a fine accompaniment despite allowing the original complaint about over-strident brass for the aristocrats’ ensembles to prevail. It is a pity that so little of the score makes a memorable impression. The ballet music for the celebratory scene in the Count’s castle before the peasants’ rampage is pleasant but of little consequence. Despite all my carping, however, this opera has its moments and I applaud the enterprise of this release. I wonder if I might dare to suggest that there is sufficient merit in the basic concept of the opera for some 21st Century teaming of a ‘new Blau and Coquard’ to reshape and tauten it somewhat and dispense with the bathos of the romance? ---Ian Lace,

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]]> (bluesever) Lalo Edouard Sun, 01 Jul 2018 14:34:36 +0000
Eduard Lalo - Cello Concerto in D minor (1990) Eduard Lalo - Cello Concerto in D minor (1990)

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1. Prelude
2. Intermezzo
3. Finale
Yo Yo Ma – cello Orchestre National de France Lorin Maazel – conductor


For the many who know Edouard Lalo only as the composer of the warhorse Symphonie espagnole for violin and orchestra, it is surprising to learn that he is the author of over a half-dozen other vehicles for soloist and orchestra (and all kinds of other works, operatic, orchestra, chamber, and sacred, as well), including two other violin concertos and an absolutely unknown piano concerto. The only one of these other concerto-type works to have earned any kind of reputation at all is the Concerto for cello and orchestra in D minor composed in 1877, a favorite of student cellists that is nevertheless surprisingly and wonderfully colorful in a master's hands. Lalo was a better and more thoughtful composer than historians usually allow, and although the work sometimes veers toward the trite, the Cello Concerto is not short of charms.

Though a Frenchman, Lalo was of Spanish descent; Spanish idioms fill the three movements of the Cello Concerto, here subtly, there blatantly. The Allegro maestoso first movement is prefaced by a Lento introduction in which the cellist ponders the coming movement in recitative style -- there is no traditional orchestral exposition here. The body of the movement is built around three elements: a firmly chiseled tune first offered by the soloist, an unshakable descending accompaniment theme, and a gorgeous, dolcissimo second theme, during which the descending accompaniment theme takes on a new tenderness but does not dissolve. The second movement is an intermezzo that alternates between lyric Andantino con moto music and sprightly Allegro presto music. After a brief introduction (which temporarily moves into the unlikely realm of B flat minor and gives an advance copy of one of the upcoming themes), the last movement takes the shape of a robust rondo. ---Blair Johnstone, Rovi

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]]> (bluesever) Lalo Edouard Fri, 18 Dec 2009 14:43:23 +0000
Lalo: Symphonie Espagnole, Violin Concerto, Fantaisie Norvegienne (2009) Lalo: Symphonie Espagnole, Violin Concerto, Fantaisie Norvegienne (2009)

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1. Violin Concerto in F major, Op. 20: I. Andante – Allegro	13:20
2. Violin Concerto in F major, Op. 20: II. Andantino	4:47
3. Violin Concerto in F major, Op. 20: III. Allegro con fuoco	6:01
4. Fantaisie norvegienne: I. Allegretto non troppo	4:55
5. Fantaisie norvegienne: II. Andante	4:03
6. Fantaisie norvegienne: III. Allegro	4:35
7. Symphonie espagnole, Op. 21 : I. Allegro non troppo		7:17
8. Symphonie espagnole, Op. 21 : II. Scherzando: Allegro molto	4:00
9. Symphonie espagnole, Op. 21 : III. Intermezzo: Allegretto non troppo		6:19
10. Symphonie espagnole, Op. 21 : IV. Andante		5:58
11. Symphonie espagnole, Op. 21 : V. Rondo: Allegro	8:18

Jean-Jacques Kantorow – violin
Granada City Orchestra 
Kees Bakels – conductor


Throughout the history of music, many composers have had encounters with performers that would shape much of their output for years to come. Brahms had Joachim, Shostakovich had Rostropovich, and Lalo had Sarasate. In fact, Sarasate was the impetus for a great many violin compositions in the 19th century, but his impact on Lalo's writing was perhaps the most significant. The little-known Op. 20 Concerto was Lalo's first major success, followed immediately by the perennially appreciated Op. 21 Symphonie espagnole. The final work Lalo wrote specifically for Sarasate is the Fantaisie norvégienne, which came four years after Symphonie espagnole. While the middle composition has endured as a violinist and audience favorite far more than the outer two works, all three were clearly written with Sarasate's legendary technical prowess and passionate, Romantic playing. This BIS album features violinist Jean-Jacques Kantorow performing with the Granada City Orchestra under Kees Bakels. Kantorow's playing possesses many of the characteristics listeners may imagine when thinking of Sarasate: meticulous intonation, intense vibrato, dazzling bow technique, deft glissandos into big shifts, and gripping interpretive skills. The only thing that falls a bit short of expectations is Kantorow's sound, which, though always audible over the sensitive orchestral accompaniment, is not as big, robust, or powerful as might be hoped for. Still, finding all three of these works together on one album performed by a clearly gifted artist is a rare treat, and listeners are encouraged to check it out. --- Mike D. Brownell, Rovi

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]]> (bluesever) Lalo Edouard Thu, 17 Dec 2009 17:45:00 +0000