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Franck: Symphony in D Minor / Stravinsky: Petrouchka [Hybrid SACD]
     

Franck: Symphony in D Minor / Stravinsky: Petrouchka [Hybrid SACD]

by Pierre Monteux
 
For much of the 19th century, it seemed that the Germans had cornered the market on symphonies. A few French composers had grappled with the form, including Charles Gounod, Georges Bizet, Camille Saint-Saëns, and -- most notably -- Hector Berlioz. But by 1886, when the Belgian-born César Franck wrote his Symphony in D Minor, the musical world had changed

Overview

For much of the 19th century, it seemed that the Germans had cornered the market on symphonies. A few French composers had grappled with the form, including Charles Gounod, Georges Bizet, Camille Saint-Saëns, and -- most notably -- Hector Berlioz. But by 1886, when the Belgian-born César Franck wrote his Symphony in D Minor, the musical world had changed considerably: Wagner's operas and Liszt's tone poems had swept through Europe, and like most of his contemporaries, Franck fell under their spell. Perhaps inspired by Wagner's use of leitmotifs, Franck developed his symphony using a "cyclical" structure, in which themes from one movement reappear in another to create a dramatic sense of coherence. It is a notoriously difficult work to perform, not because of any technical challenges, but because of the character of the music itself. A deeply religious man, Franck wrote in a style that was often devout and mystical, which has led some conductors to adopt an overly pious approach. But the great French maestro Pierre Monteux understood this work, and his famously straightforward interpretation captures the music's reverent atmosphere without brooding. The Chicago Symphony is in top form, creating a darkly ethereal sound in the meditative second movement. Filling out this reissue is Stravinsky's Petrushka, another classic recording. Monteux conducted the ballet's premiere back in 1911, and this vivid performance is a testament to his mastery of this trailblazing score.

Product Details

Release Date:
07/26/2005
Label:
Rca
UPC:
0828766789720
catalogNumber:
67897
Rank:
57994

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