What a guy, this Félicien David! (A new CD!)

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What a guy, this Félicien David! (A new CD!)

Post by Lance » Sat Dec 08, 2012 11:03 pm

Image
Laborie [France] LC12, 78:29, DDD

For me, among the most intriguing and unusual of the Romantic-period composers is Félicien David, [1810-1876], who is chiefly remembered more for his participation in the Saint-Simonian movement, which annotator Ralph P. Locke (Rochester, NY) calls "a utopian-socialist movement that promoted the rights of the working class of women," that his music. For me, it's the other way around. When I first a now deleted recording (Capriccio/Germany) of his ode-symphony, Le Désert, I was smitten. Yes, there's the coloratura gem, "Charmant oiseau" of his 1851 opera, Le Perle du Brésil, which fares well on records, but little else is known. I have tried to obtain anything and everything I can find on discs by David. The one illustrated above is truly a find and, near as I know, may be first recordings of his chamber music, at least on CD.

The disc is called "Le Souvenir" and pays tribute to Félicien David with works offered by his contemporaries, including Henri Vieuxtemps (1820-1881), Philippe Musard (1792-1859), and Sebastian Lee (1805-1887). The bigger works are by David himself, and include his Piano Trio No. 1 in B-flat Major for Piano, Violin and Cello, and his Quartet No. 3 in D Minor. Also to be heard are other chamber pieces, including his romance for piano, "L'absence," and his "Souvenir" for Cello and Piano, plus a melody, "Pensée" for solo piano and "La caprice" for Cello and Piano, all more than mere delightful music salon pleasers. The illustrate the unique genius of a composer who was deeply influenced by Hector Berlioz, for example.

The piece by Vieuxtemps, "La nuit" (Night) was transcribed from David's Le Désert, while Musard's piece, "Valse de Lalla-Roukh" and Lee's "Souvenir d'Herculanum" were written as salon pieces from David's operas, though now, they come off as being much finer than mere salon pieces as well.

What makes this beautifully recorded disc even more stunning is the use of an 1850 Erard grand piano in the David Piano Trio No. 1, the Vieuxtemps piece, and "Pensée" by David. A "pianino" (Kunz) from 1845 is heard in David's "La caprice," all performed by pianist Jean-Jacques Dünki. Christophe Coin is the cellist playing an instrument from 1720, all with the Baroque Ensemble of Limoges. In the David Third Quartet in D Minor, we hear the Mosaics Quartet, all highly gifted artists who are obviously totally enjoying playing this rarely heard music, and performing on all-Baroque period instruments. The 1850 Erard piano (6¾ octaves) as well as the 1845 pianino (6½ octaves), have an almost more consistent sound of contemporary grand piano (yes, even the pianino, considerably smaller, looking like a 45-inch upright piano), and are recorded realistically and well balanced with other performers in the chamber pieces. Photos of the keyboards are included in the booklet.

This is a gate-fold type of recording with the most unusual CD sleeve I have yet seen in a CD container. I would suspect considerable expense was given to this production, which also contains a beautiful color paining of Félicien David, as shown above. (My first thought was that he looked like Chopin.) The accompanying booklet is well written by Eastman School of Music (Rochester NY) professor Ralph P. Locke. There is a notation on the CD notes that a full booklet is available online. However, when attempting to download the PDF file, the site recommended would never present itself to me. After reading what Locke wrote in the brief booklet, I was sure I would enjoy what he had to say in the downloaded article. Such was not to be.

Otherwise, an highly interesting disc to discover! Well recommended. ♫
Lance G. Hill
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When she started to play, Mr. Steinway came down and personally
rubbed his name off the piano. [Speaking about pianist &*$#@+#]

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piston
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Re: What a guy, this Félicien David! (A new CD!)

Post by piston » Sat Dec 08, 2012 11:39 pm

He is a unique character in the annals of classical music. To my knowledge, no composer before him spent such a long time in the "orient," such as his two consecutive years in Cairo, as a young composer, where he had brought his own small piano. Certainly, many French people consider him the very source of the "oriental" movement that followed, from Reyer and Saint-Saens, all the way to Messiaen. He is also credited, along with Liszt, with having popularized the "symphonic poem" as a new genre.
In the eyes of those lovers of perfection, a work is never finished—a word that for them has no sense—but abandoned....(Paul Valéry)

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Re: What a guy, this Félicien David! (A new CD!)

Post by Lance » Fri Dec 14, 2012 11:24 pm

I was hoping more would jump on the bandwagon for this composer! Do you know his work at all? [And thank you, Jacques, for your input!]
Lance G. Hill
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When she started to play, Mr. Steinway came down and personally
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Re: What a guy, this Félicien David! (A new CD!)

Post by Ted Quanrud » Sat Dec 15, 2012 10:50 pm

Hi Lance --

Thanks for the heads-up on this. I just ordered it.

I already have two Felicien David CDs, the Capriccio recording of Le Desert, as well as a Marco Polo CD of two sets of piano miniatures.
Image

[img]http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/4 ... 0_.jpg/img]

Marco Polo also has had a CD of David's string quartets -- don't know if it's still available.

As Piston has pointed out, David is a major figure in the "orientalism" movement that played such an interesting role in western art in the 19th and 20th centuries. I would love to see some enterprising label (Hyperion and CPO come to mind) take up his cause.

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Re: What a guy, this Félicien David! (A new CD!)

Post by Lance » Sun Dec 16, 2012 1:21 am

Glad you jumped on that, Ted. You will not be disappointed. I have searched for other F. David material. I hope you can land a copy of his German Capriccio {10379} of his "Le Desert." When I broadcast that, I had considerable calls and notes from people wanting to know more! To broadcast it, however, I removed the narrations and played only the music. There are three Marco Polos, two devoted exclusively to Ferdinand David's music ... one you order with the brilliant pianist, David Blumenthal {Marco Polo 223376}. The other is Davdi's chamber music, {223492}, Piano Trios 2 & 3 with pianist Ilona Prunyi (extraordinary artist!). The third Marco Polo features the late clarinetist, Dieter Klöcker in a piece by David also offering a number of other interesting pieces from the same approximate period, {223431}. Have fun with these. Making these discoveries makes it all worthwhile, time-wise, and expense-wise!
Ted Quanrud wrote:Hi Lance --

Thanks for the heads-up on this. I just ordered it.

I already have two Felicien David CDs, the Capriccio recording of Le Desert, as well as a Marco Polo CD of two sets of piano miniatures.
Image

[img]http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/4 ... 0_.jpg/img]

Marco Polo also has had a CD of David's string quartets -- don't know if it's still available.

As Piston has pointed out, David is a major figure in the "orientalism" movement that played such an interesting role in western art in the 19th and 20th centuries. I would love to see some enterprising label (Hyperion and CPO come to mind) take up his cause.
Lance G. Hill
Editor-in-Chief
______________________________________________________

When she started to play, Mr. Steinway came down and personally
rubbed his name off the piano. [Speaking about pianist &*$#@+#]

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josé echenique
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Re: What a guy, this Félicien David! (A new CD!)

Post by josé echenique » Sun Dec 16, 2012 9:33 am

I have that cd since I buy anything and everything by the Quatuor Mosaïques. Lovely recording!

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Re: What a guy, this Félicien David! (A new CD!)

Post by Lance » Sun Dec 16, 2012 10:46 am

Pepe, you must have an extraordinary collection! Your musical tastes are exquisite. What other recordings by Quatuor do you recommend? I have David's Four Seasons coming soon, with great anticipation.
josé echenique wrote:I have that cd since I buy anything and everything by the Quatuor Mosaïques. Lovely recording!
Lance G. Hill
Editor-in-Chief
______________________________________________________

When she started to play, Mr. Steinway came down and personally
rubbed his name off the piano. [Speaking about pianist &*$#@+#]

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Re: What a guy, this Félicien David! (A new CD!)

Post by josé echenique » Sun Dec 16, 2012 11:08 am

Lance wrote:Pepe, you must have an extraordinary collection! Your musical tastes are exquisite. What other recordings by Quatuor do you recommend? I have David's Four Seasons coming soon, with great anticipation.
josé echenique wrote:I have that cd since I buy anything and everything by the Quatuor Mosaïques. Lovely recording!
Everything by Mozart, Haydn, Beethoven, Schubert and Mendelssohn with the Mosaïques is "de rigueur", but you should also look for their recording of the Juan Crisóstomo Arriaga quartets in L´Oiseau-Lyre, unfortunately I believe it´ s not in the international Universal catalogue, you should look for that in Amazon.fr or Amazon.de, and in the same label as the Felicien David there is a Johann Benjamin Gross cd worth exploring.

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Re: What a guy, this Félicien David! (A new CD!)

Post by piston » Wed Dec 19, 2012 3:31 pm

A relatively rare performance of David's comic opera Lalla-Roukh is scheduled for January 2013 by the Opera Lafayette, in Washington, D.C.
http://www.operalafayette.org/lalla-roukh
In the eyes of those lovers of perfection, a work is never finished—a word that for them has no sense—but abandoned....(Paul Valéry)

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Re: What a guy, this Félicien David! (A new CD!)

Post by Lance » Fri Dec 21, 2012 12:32 pm

I hope it is recorded. This I would love to see and have on CD.
piston wrote:A relatively rare performance of David's comic opera Lalla-Roukh is scheduled for January 2013 by the Opera Lafayette, in Washington, D.C.
thttp://www.operalafayette.org/lalla-roukh
Lance G. Hill
Editor-in-Chief
______________________________________________________

When she started to play, Mr. Steinway came down and personally
rubbed his name off the piano. [Speaking about pianist &*$#@+#]

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Re: What a guy, this Félicien David! (A new CD!)

Post by Ted Quanrud » Sun Apr 13, 2014 1:35 pm

Lance wrote:I hope it is recorded. This I would love to see and have on CD.
piston wrote:A relatively rare performance of David's comic opera Lalla-Roukh is scheduled for January 2013 by the Opera Lafayette, in Washington, D.C.
thttp://www.operalafayette.org/lalla-roukh
We're in luck, Lance. Naxos has just released a recording from the Opera Lafayette. Here's a brief review from the Guardian: http://www.theguardian.com/music/2014/a ... -lafayette

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Re: What a guy, this Félicien David! (A new CD!)

Post by Lance » Mon Apr 14, 2014 1:09 am

Thank you, Ted. I saw it a while back and immediately ordered it. Expect to see it soon with great anticipation!
Ted Quanrud wrote:
Lance wrote:I hope it is recorded. This I would love to see and have on CD.
piston wrote:A relatively rare performance of David's comic opera Lalla-Roukh is scheduled for January 2013 by the Opera Lafayette, in Washington, D.C.
thttp://www.operalafayette.org/lalla-roukh
We're in luck, Lance. Naxos has just released a recording from the Opera Lafayette. Here's a brief review from the Guardian: http://www.theguardian.com/music/2014/a ... -lafayette
Lance G. Hill
Editor-in-Chief
______________________________________________________

When she started to play, Mr. Steinway came down and personally
rubbed his name off the piano. [Speaking about pianist &*$#@+#]

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Re: What a guy, this Félicien David! (A new CD!)

Post by PJME » Mon Apr 14, 2014 2:44 pm

More David is on its way:

The Félicien David - year 2014 : agenda

Festival Félicien David in Venice : l’essentiel de la musique de chambre
Palazzetto Bru Zane – 5 avril > 17 mai 2014


5 major works are programmed:

Herculanum
8.03.2014 : 
Opéra royal de Versailles
Véronique Gens / Karine Deshayes
Vlaams Radio Koor / Brussels Philharmonic / Hervé Niquet

Moïse au Sinaï
26.03.2014, Salle Bulgaria, Sofia (Bulgarie)
28.03. 2014, Opéra-Théâtre de Clermont-Ferrand
Chœur et Orchestre de la Philharmonie de Sofia / Amaury du Closel
03.10.2014, Megaro Musikis, Thessalonique (Grèce)
Chœur et Orchestre Symphonique d’État de Thessalonique / Amaury du Closel

Le Saphir
5.04.2014
 : Scuola Grande San Giovanni Evangelista Venise (Italie)
19.06.2014 : 
Théâtre des Bouffes du Nord/Paris
Solistes du Cercle de l’Harmonie
Julien Chauvin

Le Désert
6.05.2014
 : Cité de la musique
Accentus / Orchestre de chambre de Paris
Laurence Équilbey / Sébastien Droy

Christophe Colomb
22.08.2014 : Festival Berlioz
Les Siècles / François-Xavier Roth


"Herculanum" has been recorded in Brussels (10 days of intensive work!) for later release on GLOSSA. Read more about the work done at Palazetto Bru zane in Venice :http://www.bru-zane.com/?lang=en

You tube:http://youtu.be/KQhXtl0wGX4

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Re: What a guy, this Félicien David! (A new CD!)

Post by Ted Quanrud » Mon Apr 14, 2014 7:47 pm

Thank you, PJME, for the update. I certainly hope much of what you have listed will be recorded, especially considering some of the performers involved.

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Re: What a guy, this Félicien David! (A new CD!)

Post by PJME » Wed Apr 16, 2014 2:39 am

In the same series for Glossa/ Palazzetto Bru Zane :

Image

"Dimitri" by Victorin Joncières has already been released. Niquet calls Joncières " a french Verdi" and "Dimitri" his masterpiece.

"Victorin Joncières epitomises the Romantic artist fascinated by nobility and grandeur. This is clear from the titles of his works alone: Sardanapale, Lancelot, Le Dernier Jour de Pompéi, Le Chevalier Jean, Dimitri.
Listening to the latter, his masterpiece (1876), we realise too that he was a contemporary of Gounod and a champion of Wagner. Dimitri carries on the tradition, begun by Meyerbeer, of spectacular, monumental works. It takes the listener from a monastery near the River Don to a palace in Krakow, then to the castle of Wyksa and to the Kremlin in Moscow. At the time it was written, Bayreuth, Orange and Béziers were about to turn opera into a popular art with mass appeal. "

The Brussels Philharmonic recorded Joncières Symphonie romantique, but that recording hasn't been released yet.

See You Tube: http://youtu.be/QOsjMafFgG0

(French only)

Read more about Joncières at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Victorin_de_Jonci%C3%A8res

Théodore Dubois is another composer Bru Zane (with the help of Niquet and Roth) tries to save. Vanessa Wagner performed his second pianoconcerto.

http://youtu.be/QOsjMafFgG0



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Re: What a guy, this Félicien David! (A new CD!)

Post by PJME » Tue Apr 29, 2014 2:28 am

Just for information:

these cds ( Antwerp PhO own label) with late romantic repertoire may interest you:

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For Callaerts read : http://www.svm.be/content/callaerts-jos ... anguage=en


Image

For Adolphe Samuel read http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Adolphe_Samuel
or http://www.svm.be/content/samuel-adolph ... anguage=en

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Re: What a guy, this Félicien David! (A new CD!)

Post by PJME » Thu May 01, 2014 2:56 am

Jean Louis Nicodé is another late Romantic composer that may interest you:

Das Meer (The Sea)

Nicodé worked on Das Meer from 1884 to 1888. He led the premier in Dresden in
1889. Though it’s really a cantata, he called it a “symphony-ode”, recalling Félicien
David’s Le Désert of 1844. If the term seems a hybrid, the French, well into the 19th
Century, called Beethoven’s 9th an “ode -symphony”. What The Desert and The Sea have in
common compared to, say, an oratorio, is that they’re shorter works – each runs ca. 55
minutes – on picturesque natural phenomena. (What differentiates them for modern
listeners would probably be David’s extremely tame harmonies. One longs for an
occasional 9th – or even a non-diminished 7th – chord; never a problem with Nicodé.) The
Germans much appreciated the David work, and as an enterprising choral conductor,
Nicodé would certainly have heard of it and responded to the Frenchman’s innovative
approach.
Though Das Meer was inspired by his first-hand impressions of the North Sea,
Nicodé was also aware of the traditional allegorical connection of the sea with man’s
existence. Musically, Nicodé’s language reflects its later date of composition, thus his
ability to take advantage of the harmonic and instrumental innovations of Liszt and
Wagner. The work has seven movements:

I. Das Meer: Einleitung (The Sea: Introduction) orchestra only
II. Das Ist Das Meer (This Is the Sea) acappella chorus
III. Wellenjagd (Towering Billows) orchestra and chorus
IV. Meeresleuchten (The Ocean Lights. Readers of Thomas Mann’s
novel Doktor Faustus will inevitably think of Adrian Leverkühn’s work by that
name.) orchestra only
V. Fata Morgana (A Mirage in the Straits of Messina; mirages generally) tenor or
mezzo solo and orchestra
VI. Ebbe und Flut (Ebb and Flow) invisible chorus and orchestra
VII. Sturm und Stille (Storm and Calm) orchestra and chorus

Up till now, Nicodé’s orchestral works had used modestly sized ensembles. Das Meer
marks a change, requiring the following forces:

3 flutes; all with a low B foot (one doubles piccolo)
2 oboes
2 clarinets
2 bassoons
Contrabassoon

4 horns
3 trumpets
4 trombones
4 Wagner tubas: two Bb tenors and 2 F basses
tuba

2 tympanists, 4 drums (one place in the 4th movement needs 4 tympanists)
4 percussionists, playing bass drum, crash and suspended cymbals, triangle,
gong and chimes
harp – 2 if possible
organ (with alternate wind and brass parts if none is available)

57 strings ~ 16/14/10/9/8
male chorus of 180 ~ 50 first and 40 second tenors; 40 first basses and 50
second basses. For the 6th movement, 1/3 of the choir must be off-stage
preferably in a separate room, should the facility allow.
tenor or high mezzo soprano soloist for the 5th movement

Read more about Nicodé at http://www.vonhausegger.com/files/Three ... Nicode.pdf


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Re: What a guy, this Félicien David! (A new CD!)

Post by piston » Tue May 06, 2014 5:52 pm

The Bru Zane foundation has released the following David recordings:

"Quatuors 1, 2 et 4" Quatuor Cambini (Naïve).
http://www.naive.fr/en/artist/quatuor-cambini

"Les Quatre saisons" by Felicien David and the Ensemble Baroque de Limoges (Parenthèses).
http://www.ebay.com/itm/Les-Quatre-Sais ... 417ad58eaa

Over 70 minutes of David's melodies. Tassis Christoyannis, baryton, Thanassis Apostopoulos, piano (Megaron /Harmonia Mundi)
http://www.eclassical.com/aparte/felici ... odies.html

It is noteworthy that David was Jewish on his paternal side. His father, Charles Nicolas David, was a very good violinist who lost a small fortune in Haiti (Saint-Domingue) following the 1791 revolution of the slaves and who then took refuge in Cadenet, some 35 miles north of Marseilles, where Félicien was born.
In the eyes of those lovers of perfection, a work is never finished—a word that for them has no sense—but abandoned....(Paul Valéry)

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Re: What a guy, this Félicien David! (A new CD!)

Post by Lance » Wed May 07, 2014 5:57 pm

The newly-released Félicien David opera, Lalla Roukh (1862), arrived yesterday and I loved every second of its 105 minutes. This composer had a penchant for creating some of the most attractive and unusual music for the Romantic period. All the singers were superb, but the voice of one of the baritones was rather distracting. The BIG surprise for me was the discovery of Marianne Fiset, the Canadian soprano who portrays Lalla Roukh. Where has this girl been? The color photographs of the production are outstanding. A truly stunning Naxos release.
Lance G. Hill
Editor-in-Chief
______________________________________________________

When she started to play, Mr. Steinway came down and personally
rubbed his name off the piano. [Speaking about pianist &*$#@+#]

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Re: What a guy, this Félicien David! (A new CD!)

Post by piston » Wed May 07, 2014 10:02 pm

She does have an interesting repertoire and pretty good credentials. Great singers are not always found at the Met:
Since she was awarded five top prizes in May 2007 from the Montreal International Music Competition, including the First Grand Prize and the People’s Choice Award, Marianne Fiset has been hailed by critics and audience alike. In 2008, she received the “New Artist of the Year” Opus Prize and was named Young Soloist by the Public Francophone Radios (Radio France - Radio Suisse-Romande - RTBF Belgique - Radio Canada). She was also awarded the title “Révélation Radio-Canada Musique 2009”.
Mariannes’s recent engagements have included her debut at Opera National de Paris - Bastille in the title role of Massenet’s Manon, role that she also sang in Montréal in May 2013, Malwina in Marschner ‘s Der Vampyr at International Festival of Lanaudière, Mimi in La Bohème in Tampa, Vancouver and Calgary, Lalla Roukh's title role at Opera Lafayette, Donna Elvira in Don Giovanni at l’Opéra Municipal de Marseille as well as Musetta in La Bohème at Pacific Opera Victoria. She gave recitals in London, Paris, Brussels, Geneva, Vancouver, Montreal and Québec City.
In concert, Marianne Fiset has sung La Vierge in Jeanne d'Arc au bûcher by Arthur Honegger with maestro Kent Nagano and the MSO, Beethoven’s 9th Symphony with Toronto Symphony Orchestra, Ravel’s Shéhérazade and Mahler’s 4th Symphony with Orquestra Sinfonica Madrid, Dvorak’s Stabat Mater with Orchestre symphonique de Tours, Berlioz’s Nuits d’été and Stravinsky’s Pulcinella with Orchestre Métropolitain under the baton of Yannick Nézet-Séguin. She has been a guest of the Violons du Roy, the Nordwestdeutsche Philharmonie, Vancouver Symphony Orchestra and Orchestre Symphonique de Québec. She also sang at the Festival Vancouver, Festival International du Domaine Forget and at the Bel Canto Festival of the Orchestre Symphonique de Montréal.
Recordings include Ophélie, a collection of french and german work for soprano, french horn (Louis-Philippe Marsolais) and piano (Michael MacMahon) recorded for ATMA Classique, Melodiya (Moussorgsky, Glinka and Rachmaninov) and an eponym album featuring songs of Ravel and Debussy, both from Analekta, with pianist Marie-Ève Scarfone. A world premiere recording of Félicien David's Lalla Roukh in which she performs the title role is now available on Naxos.
Fiset’s upcoming schedule includes Donna Elvira at Wuppertal Opernhaus, Susanna at Calgary Opera, Micaela at Vancouver Opera, as well as the role of Thérèse in a concert version of L'Aiglon by Arthur Honegger with Montreal Symphony Orchestra and conductor Kent Nagano and a recording of Paul Dukas's Velléda with l'Orchestre philharmonique de Bruxelles conducted by Hervé Nicquet.
In the eyes of those lovers of perfection, a work is never finished—a word that for them has no sense—but abandoned....(Paul Valéry)

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Re: What a guy, this Félicien David! (A new CD!)

Post by piston » Mon Mar 23, 2015 2:55 pm

The new Désert CD mentioned above is out:
Image
In the eyes of those lovers of perfection, a work is never finished—a word that for them has no sense—but abandoned....(Paul Valéry)

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Re: What a guy, this Félicien David! (A new CD!)

Post by Lance » Mon Mar 23, 2015 9:49 pm

Mine arrived shortly ago. It has two discs: one without the spoken narrative and the other with spoken narrative. I was disappointed in the quality of the performance when compared to the one issued originally on Capriccio from Germany [10379], which I understand has been reissued. The Capriccio is with the spoken dialogue but for radio and conserving time, I programmed the dialogue out. In the Naïve set, I found there to be a lot of extraneous sounds, thumping, etc., that, apparently, the microphone stands picked up. (As though the conductor was overly active on the podium, perhaps.) It was annoying, but the piece is worthy of hearing even on the Naïve double set.
piston wrote:The new Désert CD mentioned above is out:
Image
Lance G. Hill
Editor-in-Chief
______________________________________________________

When she started to play, Mr. Steinway came down and personally
rubbed his name off the piano. [Speaking about pianist &*$#@+#]

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