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Theatre Music - Released August 10, 2018 | PentaTone

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason - 3F de Télérama - Gramophone Editor's Choice
Composed by Stravinsky in 1933 in the wake of the French oratorio fashion whose figureheads are Milhaud (Les Choéphores) and Honegger (Le Roi David, Jeanne d’Arc au bûcher), and his own Oedipus Rex, Perséphone sanctifies the French period of the Russian composer, after he left Switzerland and before he settled definitely in the United States. Ordered by Ida Rubinstein, to whom music history already owed Debussy’s Martyre de Saint-Sébastien and Ravel’s Boléro, this melodrama, profane in its story and hybrid regarding its musical form, glorifies spring -without it being a new “Consecration” in its language) on a text by André Gide, thus prolonging the emotion created by the novel Si le grain ne meurt. The three acts of the work (Perséphone enlevée, Perséphone aux enfers, Perséphone renaissante) are close to human nature and psyche with an empathy reinforced by Stravinsky’s music. Conceived for a tenor (Eumolpe), a narrator, a mixed chorus, a chidren’s chorus and an orchestra, this work, so original in the production of its author, has however never found its audience. People long blamed Stravinsky for wringing the neck of the prosody of Gide’s text without understanding that it was however one of its more sensitive works, possessed with a melodic verve, a clear lyricism and a warmth for which he wasn’t known for. Under Esa-Pekka Salonen’s inspired and aerial baton, Perséphone finds here a second youth which might finally allow it to impose itself to a new generation of music lovers. This “strange profane mass” (as described by Marcel Marnat) is probably one of the most touching works of a composer that is always looking for new springs. © François Hudry/Qobuz
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Theatre Music - Released September 4, 2015 | Naxos

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Theatre Music - Released November 6, 2012 | Chandos

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason - 4 étoiles Classica - Hi-Res Audio
What you're getting here takes a little explanation. The Starlight Express started life as a novel for young people by Algernon Blackwood, A Prisoner in Fairyland, a story of a group of children who collect stardust and carry on a secret existence apart from the adult world. It is not unlike Peter Pan in its general outlines, but from the evidence here it is not nearly as elegantly done. Blackwood's novel was made into a play by one Violet Pearn, and Elgar, in 1915, was asked to write incidental music and songs for this play, turning it into a kind of melodrama. Next, the play was reduced here to a narrative, read by actor Simon Callow and structured in such a way as to keep apparently all of Elgar's music, including some little songs. Finally, three songs and a long sequence of instrumental excerpts were collected into a pair of suites by the present conductor, Andrew Davis, leading the Scottish Chamber Orchestra and an assortment of British singers. These final suites are probably the most attractive items here for the average listener. Elgar's music is actually charming, with an airy, tonally simple, yet absolutely characteristic quality as far as could be from the weighty world of his symphonies and oratorios. You could even imagine other performances of these suites as an ideal opener for concerts of English music. The narrated play itself doesn't quite come off, and the original material seems uncertain at times as to whether it wants to be for children or adults. Nevertheless, recordings of this material in any form are rare, and to hear this music from one of Elgar's foremost champions will likely appeal to the composer's fans. © TiVo
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Theatre Music - Released January 4, 2011 | Divox

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Theatre Music - Released November 25, 2010 | Stradivarius

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Theatre Music - Released July 27, 2010 | Naxos

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Theatre Music - Released March 25, 2008 | Naxos

Booklet
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Theatre Music - Released July 31, 2007 | harmonia mundi

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Theatre Music - Released January 1, 2007 | Da Capo

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Theatre Music - Released April 1, 2006 | Chandos

Booklet
If the French Revolution hadn't turned into a bloodbath, if Napoleon hadn't turned into a tyrant, and if Austria, England, and Austria hadn't won the Napoleonic wars, François-Joseph Gossec might conceivably hold the same exalted position in music history that Beethoven does and his Le Triomphe de la République might possibly have the same high regard in world culture that Beethoven's Ninth does. Gossec has something of the same grand scale, lofty aspirations, and popular appeal as Beethoven and his lyric divertissement in one act celebrating the victories of the nascent republic has something of the same enormous scope, elevated tone, and common touch of his Ninth Symphony. Of course, Gossec was aiming a lot lower aesthetically in La Triomphe than Beethoven was in his Ninth and while the initial audiences might have been transported by the work's ardent patriotism, latter-day audiences may be put off by its aggressive aggrandizement. But if they are, it won't be the fault of this stupendous recording. The formidable Diego Fasolis leads I Barocchisti, the Coro della Radio Svizzera, the Coro Calicantus, and seven vocal soloists in a performance that is enough to shake the walls and rattle the windows. While not perhaps the last word in refinement, Fasolis and his forces are the first word in magnificence with imposing choruses, impressive solos, splendid orchestral effects -- listen to the gargantuan tympani imitating the roar of artillery -- and, in the closing international ballet, a sense of joi de vivre that perhaps only a great performance of the Ode to Joy can match. As barely contained in Chandos' staggering sound, Gossec's La Triomphe deserves to be heard by anyone with an interest in the period. © TiVo
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Theatre Music - Released November 9, 2004 | Vanguard Classics

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Theatre Music - Released April 1, 2001 | Chandos

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Theatre Music - Released January 1, 2001 | Glossa

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Theatre Music - Released September 7, 2000 | Naxos

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Theatre Music - Released June 1, 1993 | Chandos

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Theatre Music - Released January 1, 1990 | deutsche harmonia mundi