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The Classical Explorer

July 2010 Archives

Rare French Works

Hyperion CDA67294

Gabriel Fauré

Violin Concerto in D Minor, Op. 14 (1878-9)

Camille Saint-Saëns

Morceau de Concert in G Major, Op. 62 (1880)

Eduard Lalo

Fantaisie Norvégienne (1878)
Guitarre, Op. 28 (1882)

Ernest Guiraud

Caprice (1884)

Joseph Canteloube

Poème (1918)

Philippe Graffin, violin
Ulster Orchestra/Thierry Fischer
Hyperion CDA67294 71:13

This collection of short French pieces is useful in that few have been otherwise recorded. The Fauré concerto is incomplete but still worth hearing. Some may know the orchestral version of the Lalo fantasy. Nothing here to plumb emotional depths, just enjoyable music.

[ Available on CD: Amazon - UK - Germany - Canada - France - Japan ]

Definitely Not The Planets

Naxos 8.553696

Gustav Holst

Somerset Rhapsody, Op. 21 #2 (1906-7)
Beni Mora (Oriental Suite), Op. 29 #1 (1909-10)
Invocation for Cello & Orchestra, Op. 19 #2 (1911) 1
Fugal Overture, Op. 40 #1 (1922)
Egdon Heath, Op.47 (1927)
Hammersmith, Op. 52 (1931)

1 Tim Hugh, cello
Royal Scottish National Orchestra/David Lloyd-Jones
Naxos 8.553696 69:02

This well-chosen collection of short orchestral works by Holst gives further evidence, if any were needed, that he was not just a one-hit wonder. The music illustrates his folksong collecting, his fascination with oriental themes, and one of his few works for solo instrument and orchestra. The last two works are both rather dark and mysterious, in the manner of Saturn from The Planets. Lloyd-Jones has a fine track record as a conductor of English music and this very well-recorded CD adds to his reputation.

[ Available on CD: Amazon - UK - Germany - Canada - France - Japan - ArkivMusic - CD Universe ]

[ Sheet music by Holst: Sheet Music Plus - ]