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Music of Paul Dukas

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Audio CD, November 23, 1999
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Music of Paul Dukas + Complete Piano Music
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (November 23, 1999)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Telarc
  • ASIN: B000035X5D
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #101,042 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. Fanfare To La Peri
2. La Peri
3. The Sorcerer's Apprentice
4. I. Allegro Non Troppo Vivace, Ma Con Fuoco
5. II. Andante Espressivo
6. III. Allegro Spiritoso

Editorial Reviews

Customer Reviews

You will probably hate it or love it, but it really has something to say.
Jesus Lopez- Cobos and the Cinncinati Symphony prove that an American Orchestra can perform these works just as well as any European Orchestra.
Having said that, I found almost nothing here which really grabbed me or which had an emotional impact.

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Brett A. Kniess on November 30, 2005
Here on one disk are three symphonic works by the French composer Paul Dukas: the famous Sorcerer's Apprentice, La Peri complete with opening fanfare, and his Symphony in C. Dukas today is better known as a teacher, theorist, and critic/writer and unfortunately his compositions are overshadowed by his orchestral miniature The Sorcerer's Apprentice. The works on this CD let us glimpse at his style; highly Romantic in intent, highly Classical in form, and highly impressionistic in orchestration and program, we can greatly see Dukas' influence on composers of his time and after.

The tone poem La Peri tells of a young man searching for a flower of immortality and finds a fairy asleep holding one. He takes it, but falls in love with the said fairy. The fairy awakens and gets it back by playing on the young mans emotions; the man loses both immortality and love. The music is lush, with expert composition for strings, woodwinds and horn (of note). Merging romanticism with French Impressionism, Dukas presents us with an imaginative and exciting orchestral tone poem. The famous fanfare features the Cincinnati brass section, along with astounding sonics, comes off very well. The Cincinnati brass is extremely tight and one of the most cohesive sounds I have heard in a long time.

The Sorcerer's Apprentice, composed as a joke, here is given a very clean performance. While adding nothing to the recording oeuvre, a delightful piece.

I am not quite sure why the Symphony in C by Dukas is so underplayed; I find it to be the most exciting French symphony of its time. Set in three movements (fast/slow/fast), it is highly romantic, with formal designs reaching back to Classical Era ideals.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on January 18, 2000
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Just about everyone has heard the Socerer's Apprentice, but rarely do we hear La Peri and the Symphony in C. Frankly I have heard more exciting playings of Sorcerer, but La Peri and the Symphony are splendidly done. I agree with the previous reviewer that the Cincinnati Symphony is one of the great orchestra's in the country and in the world right now. Don't hesitate to pick this little gem up.
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20 of 26 people found the following review helpful By Eric J. Matluck on April 24, 2000
This recording has been garnering praise, and deservedly so, for the magnificence of its sound and the superiority of the orchestral playing on display. Fair enough, but good sound is not enough to salvage a very disappointing performance of two of Dukas' most sensuous and evocative works, the Symphony in C major and La peri. This symphony, long a favorite of mine, gets a performance that I find simply dull. The music proceeds, dutifully, bar by bar, with little or no sense of incident. To give one example, Lopez-Cobos rushes from the first theme of the first movement into the second theme with no preparation, no sense of "letting up," no sense that a dramatic change is coming. As a result, the second theme itself (one of its composer's most haunting), while beautifully played, fails to register because the change in atmosphere has been too abrupt. I find myself still "coming off" the first theme and not having the time or preparation to "register" the second. The slow movement, too, lacks atmosphere (as does, alas, La peri), and the finale sounds too starchy. I suppose that, compared with Slatkin's unfortunate account this is, in all ways, a notable improvement, but the best "recent" performance of this symphony can be found on a 10-year-old Denon CD, where Jean Fournet conducts the Netherlands Radio Symphony Orchestra. Listen to that to hear what's missing from the present interpretation. Notice the "shyness," the introversion that Fournet brings to the second theme of the first movement, or the sense of unbounded joy that emerges in the finale. So while I admire Mr Lopez-Cobos for taking up the cause of this unjustly neglected work, and for bringing his orchestra to a point of polish and refinement that ought to be envied by every other American ensemble, I have to voice my disappointment.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Karl W. Nehring on July 16, 2009
This excellent sounding (recorded using the DSD process and then cut as a standard 16-bit CD) Telarc recording features music that will be familiar to most audiophiles, Dukas's The Sorcerer's Apprentice, along with some of Dukas's music that will be new to many listeners, La Péri and the Symphony in C. Both these pieces are enjoyable, particularly the former, which is the highlight of this CD. The Symphony in C is also enjoyable, sounding like a mix of classic and romantic approaches to symphonic composition.

For many audiophiles, though, I suspect that the real attraction of this release is going to be that old Fantasia favorite, The Sorcerer's Apprentice. The López-Cobos version of The Sorcerer's Apprentice seems somewhat restrained, and some might find it a bit tame, but such an approach does help the piece blend in better with the other pieces on this disk, which are capable of standing on their own merits as excellent compositions that need not stand in the shadow of their more popular sibling.

The sonics on this recording are also restrained, at least in the sense that Telarc has avoided making this disk into some sort of vulgar sonic spectacular, bringing us instead a natural and straightforward sonic portrait of the orchestra. All things considered, this CD is a welcome and worthwhile release.
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