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Bechara El-Khoury: Orchestral Works

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - James Manheim
Bechara El-Khoury, partly trained in Lebanon, came to France in 1979 and eventually became a French citizen. These ambitious orchestral works all date from the early part of his residence in France, a time during which he had the experience of watching his homeland collapse into paroxysms of house-to-house fighting. The music is, accordingly, mostly grim in mood, with lots of portentous tympani strokes, and two of these works, the "Requiem pour orchestre, Op. 18" and the "Poème symphonique No. 1, Le Liban en flammes Lebanon in Flames, Op. 14," directly address Lebanon's civil war. These works are part of a trilogy on this theme; the third work, "Symphony: The Ruins of ...
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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - James Manheim
Bechara El-Khoury, partly trained in Lebanon, came to France in 1979 and eventually became a French citizen. These ambitious orchestral works all date from the early part of his residence in France, a time during which he had the experience of watching his homeland collapse into paroxysms of house-to-house fighting. The music is, accordingly, mostly grim in mood, with lots of portentous tympani strokes, and two of these works, the "Requiem pour orchestre, Op. 18" and the "Poème symphonique No. 1, Le Liban en flammes Lebanon in Flames, Op. 14," directly address Lebanon's civil war. These works are part of a trilogy on this theme; the third work, "Symphony: The Ruins of Beirut," has inexplicably been issued by Naxos on a different CD. All this music for large orchestra was written between 1979 and 1982, during which time El-Khoury was also studying and writing other works. That gives an idea of what it's like: it is confident, even exuberant in its handling of the orchestra, but it lacks an individual voice. El-Khoury's music hangs close to the line between tonal and atonal, and it carries echoes of the styles of other modern masters of the orchestra, from Khachaturian to a range of French composers. Arabic influence on the music is claimed in the liner notes, but it's far from obvious, and the music, even in vigorous short pieces like the "Danse pour orchestra, Danse des aigles Dance of the Eagles, Op. 9," is about large-scale orchestral textures rather than manipulations of melody and mode. El-Khoury has worked as a composer of film scores in France, and the music here is episodic in the manner of film music. This 1983 recording by the Orchestre Colonne under Pierre Dervaux fares better sonically in CD reissue than do most other releases of this period, but it will be of interest mostly to listeners who specialize in music with links to the periphery of the European concert tradition.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 4/18/2006
  • Label: Naxos
  • UPC: 747313269129
  • Catalog Number: 8557691
  • Sales rank: 226,863

Tracks

Disc 1
  1. 1 Danse, for orchestra ("Danse des aigles"), Op. 9 - Bechara El Khoury & Pierre Dervaux (2:27)
  2. 2 Image symphonique, for orchestra ("Les dieux de la terre"), Op. 26 - Bechara El Khoury & Pierre Dervaux (9:53)
  3. 3–4 Suite symphonique, for orchestra ("La nuit et le fou"), Op. 29 - Bechara El Khoury & Pierre Dervaux (13:07)
  4. 4 Requiem, for orchestra, Op. 18 - Bechara El Khoury & Pierre Dervaux (20:18)
  5. 5 Poème symphonique No. 1, for orchestra ("Le Liban en flammes"), Op. 14 - Bechara El Khoury & Pierre Dervaux (20:29)
  6. 6 Poème, for orchestra ("Le regard du Christ"), Op. 2 - Bechara El Khoury & Pierre Dervaux (10:19)
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Album Credits

Performance Credits
Pierre Dervaux Primary Artist
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