Vincent d'Indy: Orchestral Works, Volume 2: Symphony No. 2 in B flat, Op. 57 / Tableaux de voyage, Op. 36 / Karadec, Op. 34 CD
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Genre: Classical Music
Media Format: Compact Disk
Release Date: 28-APR-2009
Chandos's engineers learned nothing from the dull, distant sonics of Volume 1 (see Fanfare 32:2), and this second album of d'Indy's orchestral works is more of the shadowy same. Gamba, as before, has d'Indy much at heart. The Icelanders are valiant but thin. And the upshot is rather less than satisfactory, especially for anyone who has lived with competing versions of these pieces. The Symphony, for instance, trails a classic, incisive 1942 first-recorded performance by the San Francisco Symphony led by Pierre Monteux (now available separately rather than as part of an expensive set, RCA Gold Seal 618880), and more expansive yet quite passable tilts by Plasson and the Toulouse band (EMI 63952, from 1982), and James DePreist leading the Monte Carlo Phil (nla Koch International 3-7280-2 H1, Fanfare 19:2).
D'Indy was embarrassed by his theater scores, of which that for Arsène Alexandre's Karadec is perhaps the best, describing them to Ropartz as "du toc"--brummagem. Curiously, Karadec has not lacked for recorded performances, beginning with Jean-François Paillard's 1981 LP account (Erato STU 71423), whose crisp delivery makes it seem almost important while maintaining a keen edge over later comers--Gilles Nopre with the Württemberg Phil (marco polo 8.223654, Fanfare 18:1), Douglas Bostock and the Bohemian Chamber Phil (Classico 168, Fanfare 21:3). The present reading is no more than workmanlike. D'Indy, by the way, would have been mortified had anyone pointed out to him that the theme of the slinky march opening Karadec--perhaps the closest he came to catchiness--is note-for-note the same as the grandiose peroration of his master Franck's oratorio, Les béatitudes.
The six Tableaux de voyage, orchestrated from a youthful set of 13 piano pieces, are, likewise, small beer but heard to better advantage chez Pierre Dervaux and the Loire Phil (EMI 74136). Andrew Thomson, who has written a biography of d'Indy, provides liner copy long on musicology and short on interest. Chandos's d'Indy revival has, so far, been short-winded--a genuine resurrection might begin with an optimum performance of his most viable opera, L'étranger. -- Fanfare, Adrian Corleonis, Jan-Feb 2010
Top Customer Reviews
Dedicated to D'Indy's friend, Paul Dukas, the Second Symphony, in the usual four movements, is an example of the cyclic form of composition propounded by Franck. It is based largely on two themes that we hear early in the first movement. It begins mysteriously and with a slightly menacing tone but evolves into a second movement that is in song form and contains a lovely melody sung in turn by viola, cor anglais, horn and clarinet. The third movement is an intermezzo that is lighter than anything previously. It starts with a melancholy folklike melody that is eventually transformed into a tipsy dance. The finale, early on, has a fugal treatment of one of the two main themes followed by a transformation of the other theme into a boisterous 5/4 section. The work concludes with a majestic chorale based on the more diatonic of the two themes, a triumphant conclusion to an immensely satisfying work.Read more ›