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Koechlin: Le Docteur Fabricius - Vers la Voûte étoilée (2004)

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Koechlin: Le Docteur Fabricius - Vers la Voûte étoilée (2004)

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1 Vers la Voûte étoilée, symphonic poem, Op. 129	12:41 	

Le Docteur Fabricius, symphonic poem after Charles Dollfus, Op. 202 
2 Le Manoir	5:06 	
3 La Douleur. Choral I	1:57 	
4 La Douleur. Choral II	1:53 	
5 La Douleur. Choral III (Canon à 6 parties)	2:16 	
6 La Révolte. Allegro moderato		0:42 	
7 La Révolte. Reprise des thèmes de la Douleur		1:16 	
8 La Révolte. Fugue	0:47 	
9 La Révolte. Rappel des thèmes de la Douleur		0:33 	
10 La Révolte. Stretto de la fugue	4:03 	
11 La Révolte. Choral, "Aus tiefer Noth..."	2:41 	
12 Le Ciel étoilé		8:57 	
13 La Nature, la Vie, l'Espoir	4:18 	
14 Réponse de l'Homme	4:39 	
15 La Joie	6:52 	
16 Choral final (sur le chant monodique initial)		5:03 	

SWR Stuttgart Radio Symphony Orchestra
Heinz Holliger - Conductor

 

Held in high esteem as a theorist and teacher, Charles Koechlin was less celebrated in his time as a composer; regarded later as too quaint to emulate, his eclectic and inconsistent music faded into near obscurity. Whether this 2004 CD from Hänssler triggers a Koechlin revival is uncertain, but these world-premiere recordings of Vers la Voûte étoilée and Le Docteur Fabricius help redress the neglect and provide a generous sample of Koechlin's lush and moody programmatic style. Vers la Voûte étoilée is attractive for its pretty, Impressionistic colors, but this soft nocturne is too short for anything more than its single crescendo effect. Le Docteur Fabricius has more variety and musical conflict, and Koechlin's use of dissonant counterpoint, polytonality, and atonal chromaticism provide some points of interest. However, there are few masterful or memorable touches in this work; beyond the enigmatic Ondes Martenot solo in Le Ciel étoilée, the music is labored in an academic manner and drawn out too long after its climax. The Radio-Sinfonieorchester Stuttgart, under Heinz Holliger's direction, turns in a respectable performance, but it is slow to ignite, and often seems to languish in the tangled web of Koechlin's unfocused polyphony and vaporous orchestration. The sound quality is decent, but indistinct in several places. ---Blair Sanderson, AllMusic Review

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