The Critic's Chair
Kenneth Young reviews music from the Belle Epoque
DEBUSSY: Orchestra Works Vol 7,
Fantaisie; Premiere Rapsodie; Rapsodie; 2 Dances - Emmanuel Ceysson, Alexandre Doisy, Paul Meyer, Jean-Yves Thibaudet (pno), Lyon National Orch/Jun Markl
This is an excellent selection of some of Debussy’s lesser known works. The Rhapsodies for Clarinet and Saxophone receive worthwhile performances as does the Danses Sacée et Profane for Harp and Strings. However, the rarely performed Fantaise for Piano and Orchestra suffers from some poor production work and lack of attention to detail.
GERSHWIN: Three Preludes; STRAVINSKY: Two Etudes; FAURÉ: Two Nocturnes; RAVEL: La Valse; Piano Concerto in G
Roger Muraro (pno), French Radio Orch/Myung-Whun Chung
(DG 476 4669)
Reflets is an interesting assortment of works by various composers which Muraro feels are the main influences behind Ravel’s Piano Concerto in G major, an excellent live performance of which is the centrepiece of the CD
RAVEL: Gaspard de la nuit; ADÈS: Darknesse Visible; DEBUSSY: Suite Bergamasque; STEVENSON/BRITTEN: Fantasy on Peter Grimes
Inon Barnatan (pno)
(Avie AV 2256)
Darknesse Visible is an extraordinary release by this exceptional Israeli pianist. Works by Adès, Ravel, Debussy and Benjamin Britten/Ronald Stevenson provide the listener with a journey of colour and imagination that is both ferocious and beautiful.
FRANCK: Violin Sonata in A; RAVEL: Violin Sonata in G; SAINT-SAËNS: Violin Sonata No 1 in D minor Op 75
Joshua Bell (vln), Jeremy Denk (pno)
(Sony 88697 89182)
I’ve rarely heard such exceptionally clear and accurate alignment of gesture between two musicians. You could almost be made jealous by a relationship like this. Totally engaging performances by an exceptional pairing of true musicians.