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Complete Works for Piano & Orchestra Import


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Audio CD, Import, December 9, 2003
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Complete Works for Piano & Orchestra + Piano Concerti 1 7 & 8
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Editorial Reviews


1. Allegro
2. Scherzando
3. Final
4. Poem Symphonique In D Minor Op. 37
5. Fantaisie-Ballet In B Flat Major Op. 6
6. Scherzo-Caprice In D Major Op. 25

Product Details

  • Performer: Stephen Coombs
  • Orchestra: BBC Scottish Symphony
  • Conductor: Ronald Corp
  • Composer: Gabriel Pierne
  • Audio CD (December 9, 2003)
  • SPARS Code: DDD
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Import
  • Label: Hyperion UK
  • ASIN: B0000CE0YV
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #288,120 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

18 of 18 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on May 21, 2004
Format: Audio CD
If you like the piano music of Saint-Saens, Franck, and Faure (as different as those composers are), you'll like this disc. The notes to the recording wonder over the fact that Pierne isn't more highly regarded and more widely played, but to me the answer is that he lacked a truly distinctive voice, being content to sound like his better-known musical forebears and near contemporaries. Does this mean his music should be abandoned altogether? Far from it, as the works on this disc amply demonstrate. Pierne's lone piano concerto, clearly modeled on the Saint-Saens Second Concerto, is worthy of some of the attention given to its too-often-performed model. Like the Saint-Saens, the Pierne concerto provides its finest moments in the Scherzando second movement, which is all grace, lightness, and charm. Pierne replaces Saint-Saens's triangle with a side drum, giving his movement a more "military" bearing, but the overall effect is pretty much the same. If anything, Pierne's concerto holds together better than Saint-Saens's, but it lacks the striking ideas that Saint-Saens comes up with in his first and third movements, which some wag described as a progression "from Bach to Offenbach." The orchestration in the outer movements of the Pierne has a heavier, more Germanic feel to it ala Saint-Saens's underrated Third Concerto.
Pierne's Poem Symphonique recalls the Franck of Les Djinns, full of darkly dramatic gestures resolved by a triumphant conclusion. It's a very attractive work, as is the spirited Scherzo-Caprice, again with overtones of Saint-Saens and maybe Litolff as well. But there is a Faure-like lilt to this work, too, as there is in the early Fantaisie-Ballet.
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17 of 17 people found the following review helpful By David A. Wend on January 23, 2004
Format: Audio CD
Gabriel Pierne is all but forgotten these days. I know of one of his ballets but it is nothing compared to his output of nine operas, nine ballets and scores of orchestral and instrumental works. Pierne studied with Cesar Franck and Jules Massenet, and his music owes a debt to his teachers, along with some influence of Saint Saens. He was a Prix de Rome student, and two of the works recorded here, the Piano Concerto and Fantasie-Ballet date from that period.
This disc represents all of his works for piano and orchestra, all of which are early works. All of these works are a virtuosic tour-de-force with sparkling, lovely melodies superbly orchestrated. The performance by Stephan Coombs is first rate and he is ably supported by the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra. This is a disc that I liked on first hearing and was anxious to listen to again. Unfortunately for Pierne, he was so popular during his life that on his death he has been eclipsed. If one enjoys French music, Pierne is absolutely a necessary addition.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Alan Beggerow VINE VOICE on May 19, 2004
Format: Audio CD
Before this CD, I had not heard of the composer. The works on this disc show that Pierne was a more than average composer that must have had a formidable piano technique. Each of the compositions are for a virtuoso. As far as compositional style, I agree with the liner notes that suggest Pierne's music is reminiscent of Cesar Frank's. But that is not to say that it doesn't speak with its own unique voice.
Highly recommended, and a very worthwhile addition to Hyperion's Romantic Piano Concerto series.
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Format: Audio CD
Hyperion's set of the Romantic Piano Concertos continues with Volume 34. Presented here are works by the composer Gabriel Pierné. The main draw to this series is exposing people to rarer piano concertos that are not often heard or in many cases even played. Not every piano concerto is a good, and there is a reason why some of the concertos throughout the series are not well known. Uncovering the hidden gems that are what makes this series so fun, and with Volume 34 we have just that.

The CD begins with Pierne's Piano concerto, composed around 1886. It is an excellent work that draws you in from the first set of notes. The opening movement is full of energy and has a dramatic feel to it. The work models Saint-Saëns' epic Piano Concerto No. 2, which can be found on Volume 27 and parts of it sound quite similar. This is one of those works that makes you wonder why its not more performed.

The second work is Pierne's Poëme Symphonique. The piece starts off with a dark and mysterious tone that is quite intriguing. The piano continues with this tone while the orchestra counteracts. The two components eventually sync up and I found this work to be my favorite. The next work is his earliest work for Piano and Orchestra and it somewhat shows. The orchestral parts for the Fantasie-Ballet are not as intriguing as the previous works, but it is clear that the quite a bit of virtuosity is required from the pianist. The CD closes with the Scherzo-Caprice which is probably the most romantic sounding work that has nice reoccurring theme and melody.

Overall I was really surprised at the quality and consistency of all the works on this CD. The pianist for each piece is Stephen Coombs with Ronald Corp conducting the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra. Every work on this CD could really stand its own against some of his contemporaries and its great that Hyperion has brought this unknown composer to surface. This is one of the best volumes in the set to date.
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