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Chamber Music - Released February 2, 2018 | Timpani

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason - Choc de Classica
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Chamber Music - Released March 15, 2007 | AR RE-SE

Admirers of the string quartets of Gabriel Fauré, Claude Debussy, and Maurice Ravel will be happy to discover the refined string quartets of Charles Koechlin, a contemporary of those composers who wrote in a rather similar vein. These attractive chamber works, like the rest of Koechlin's oeuvre, are quite obscure and had been unduly neglected until the Ardeo Quartet chose to record them for its debut CD on Ar Re-Se. The String Quartet No. 1 in D major, Op. 51, is dated 1911-1913, though it appears to have gestated since 1902, and the String Quartet No. 2, Op. 57, was mostly composed between 1911 and 1916, though its sketches show some material going back to 1909; both works therefore partake of musical styles developed between fin de siècle Impressionism and the later innovations of Erik Satie and Les Six, but these works reveal a stronger emphasis on the former. The sweet, placid music that flows in both quartets is balanced by some jaunty, folk-like elements and occasional flirtations with changing time signatures and polytonality, but the calm atmosphere of these quartets is largely undisturbed by the encroachments of modernism. The Ardeo Quartet demonstrates great technical control and coolness of expression in these lucid performances, which conceal many challenges behind appearances of simplicity and artlessness; indeed, Koechlin was a skilled orchestrator, and his special string effects are actually quite demanding, even though they may seem effortless in this ensemble's hands. The sound of this recording is quite close-up and detailed, so every note can be heard clearly and the group's warm and vibrant tone is fully captured. © TiVo
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Classical - Released January 1, 2007 | SWR Classic

This set of the vocal works with orchestra by Charles Koechlin has everything going for it. First, with eight of the nine works being world-premiere recordings, most of the music here is terra incognita to even the most determined fan of the decadently voluptuous music of la belle epoch. Second, with aching chromatic melodies, yearning chromatic sonorities, and vibrant orchestral colors, all of the works here are examples of Wagner-influenced French music at its best. Third, with her sumptuous tone and passionate interpretations, Juliane Banse's singing is wholly convincing and utterly compelling. Fourth, with the accomplished former-oboist-turned-conductor Heinz Holliger on the podium, the accompaniment is scrupulously polished and thoroughly sympathetic. Fifth, with the professional but dedicated playing of the SWR Radio-sinfonieorchester Stuttgart and the committed singing of the SWR Vokalensemble Stuttgart, Holliger has a wonderful group of musicians to work with. Sixth, with Hänssler's full, deep, rich sound, Koechlin, Banse, Holliger, and the Stuttgart musicians are represented in a recording that does them all justice. For those who know and love the orchestral songs of Debussy, Ravel, and Chausson, these songs by Koechlin will provide hours of pleasure. © TiVo
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Symphonic Music - Released October 13, 2017 | SWR Classic

Booklet Distinctions Diapason d'or - Choc de Classica
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Chamber Music - Released March 1, 2013 | Timpani

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Classical - Released April 5, 2011 | Naxos

Booklet
Charles Koechlin may not be a well-known composer, but anyone who enjoys the music of Olivier Messiaen should get to know Koechlin. Les heures persanes, one of his better known works, is a suite of character pieces written between 1916 and 1919. Throughout the pieces are hints of what Messiaen would write later in his piano works, such as the Visions de l'Amen and the Vingt Régards sur l'Enfant-Jésus. Les heures depicts scenes of Persia -- although more landscapes than life studies -- with titles similar to those of Debussy's preludes, (e.g., "Clair de lune sur les terrasses" and "Les collines au choucher du soleil"). The harmonies are more advanced than Debussy, and in places, for example in No. 4 "Matin frais, dans la haute vallée," sound exactly like Messiaen. Nos. 14 and 16 have a brilliant intensity similar to Messiaen. No. 6, "A travers les rues" is more backward looking with lush, flowing lines evocative of Fauré's (one of Koechlin's teachers) writing, but with freer harmonies. Here, van Raat allows it to breathe almost like a jazz improvisation. Van Raat treats all the music very organically, adding nuanced color without it seeming at all like work. It streams very easily through his fingers, letting the slower movements become meditative to an extent, again creating a link to Messiaen, specifically his spirituality. Van Raat naturally tempers the music; the more active sections are never painfully intense, nor do the slower ones tend to inertia. This performance of Les heures would definitely suit as an introduction to Koechlin or as a bridge between Debussy or Fauré and Messiaen for anyone looking to expand the scenery of their musical countryside. © TiVo
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Classical - Released January 1, 2008 | SWR Classic

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Classical - Released October 26, 2010 | SWR Classic

Distinctions 5 de Diapason
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Classical - Released May 1, 2009 | SWR Classic

Distinctions 5 de Diapason
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Chamber Music - Released June 15, 2009 | AR RE-SE

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Classical - Released December 1, 2012 | Brilliant Classics

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Chamber Music - Released October 13, 2017 | SWR Classic

Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason - Choc de Classica
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Chamber Music - Released April 1, 2003 | Chandos

Booklet
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Classical - Released January 1, 2007 | Haenssler Classic

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Classical - Released July 3, 2015 | Skarbo

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Classical - Released January 1, 2007 | SWR Classic

Hänssler Classic's Charles Koechlin: Les Heures Persanes is only the second recording made of Koechlin's impressive orchestral suite. Composed for the piano in 1919, Koechlin orchestrated all 16 movements of the set in a little less than two weeks in 1921. While Heinz Holliger may not have been the first to record the work -- Leif Segerstam beat him to the draw for Marco Polo in 1989 -- but Holliger was the first to perform it entirely with the Chamber Orchestra of Europe in Berlin. This recording with Holliger directing the Radio-Sinfonieorchester Stuttgart des SWR is a later recording, made in 2004. The work itself is a highly appealing, low-key, and atmospheric suite that is vaguely evocative of a "Persian" aura initially inspired by romance novels. It does not resort to simulations of Arabic scales and it is highly transparent, though Koechlin's taste in harmonic and orchestral color is obviously impressionistic. As it is a 16-part suite, any kind of standard formal development scheme is out the window, and the mood is prevailingly quiet and mysterious with only very few eruptions of emotion. Nevertheless, it is a flexible structure that can be appreciated in short stretches or in the long form as a kind of otherworldly background music. Holliger's interest in the piece may be piqued in that it has a lot of great parts for his instrument, the oboe, and the winds are better handled here than in Segerstam's recording. Segerstam's version is a bit more direct and up front than Holliger's Hänssler, which is airy, distant, and quiet. However, this ambiance seems to serve the music a little better, as Segerstam's recording is not very transparent and rather bumbling at times. This release should be your top of the line choice for Les Heures Persanes, a work that should appeal strongly to those who like the quiet parts of Charles Ives' Central Park in the Dark or Dominic Frontiere's music for The Outer Limits. © TiVo
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Chamber Music - Released August 4, 2015 | Basta Audio-Visuals