- Symphony in A minor ("Italian")
- Concerto for flute, cello, piano & strings in E flat major, Op. 89
By today's standards, Vincent d'Indy may be thought of as something of a musical curmudgeon. Throughout his long and productive lifetime, he was uniformly resistant to new movements in music, in particular the threat he perceived in the group of his young countrymen known collectively as Les Six. His own compositions support his vocal conservatism; they are very much rooted in the late Romantic with frequent tips-of-the-hat to the Baroque. D'Indy's first symphony, completed in its first draft in 1872, is a work d'Indy curiously tried to distance himself from. Although it is a chronologically "youthful" composition, it is still a very well-developed and sophisticated work, making its infrequent performance and d'Indy's own disdain somewhat perplexing. The "Concert for piano, flute, cello, and strings," written in 1926, shows the pervasiveness and endurance of d'Indy's conservatism. The scoring and composition each harken back to the Baroque. Heard here performing these two pleasing works is the Orchestre de Bretagne under the baton of the very young (only 21 at the time of this recording) Lionel Bringuier. The orchestra itself is also a somewhat new player on the international stage, having been formed in 1989, only three years after the birth of its conductor. Both show a great deal of promise. From a technical standpoint, the orchestra is quite capable and refined; Bringuier's musical understanding of the score is equally evident and is fluidly transferred to the orchestra. There are times, particularly in the symphony, where the orchestra's sound is not entirely homogeneous, with individual players or even entire sections sticking out of the texture. Still, recordings of d'Indy's "First Symphony" are difficult if not impossible to come by, and this album is certainly a worthy introduction to the piece.