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Complete Works for Piano & Orchestra Import


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Audio CD, Import, December 9, 2003
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$20.83 & FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Details Only 2 left in stock (more on the way). Ships from and sold by Amazon.com. Gift-wrap available.


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: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #268,448 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

4.1 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
. . . and most effective in the scherzo-like music of the second movement of the Piano Concerto, the Fantasie-Ballet, and the Scherzo-Caprice, all composed before 1890, when Pierne was in his mid-to-late twenties. There are different kinds of playfulness at work in these pieces, and the orchestral accompaniment is appropriately relatively light. That said, however, the most impressive single piece on this disc is the "Poeme Symphonique" of 1903. It combines a solemn theme with more lyrical music very effectively, and the development is carried out by both piano and orchestra in expert fashion. The writing for the brass in the second half of the "Poeme" is particularly striking, though one wishes that the rest of the orchestral sound had a comparable warmth and clarity. That it doesn't might be the engineers' fault as much as Pierne's, for the piano is slightly favored in the aural picture, and the orchestra just a bit recessed. Stephen Coombs plays very well and is well caught by the recording, and Ronald Corp's shaping of all the music here is persuasive.

What of the Piano Concerto itself? I've mentioned the effective scherzo second movement (I would call it "cheeky"). The first movement starts with somewhat martial maestoso music, third cousin to the opening of Beethoven's "Emperor," and the lyrical theme that follows is a bit anti-climactic, but as the movement goes on, Pierne works both up into a strong, rather solemn statement that drives to a weighty peroration that seems to owe more to Franck than, say, Saint-Saens. That first movement music is carried into the third and final movement, where it receives further development. All in all, it's not exactly memorable, but for a 23-year-old's first effort, it's more than respectable. Thanks to Hyperion, Corp, and Coombs for resurrecting it!
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