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Classical - Released January 4, 2011 | Chandos

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions Hi-Res Audio
A revival of the works of Gabriel Pierné has been spearheaded by a handful of dedicated labels that champion unjustly neglected classics, and Chandos has joined them with this fine recording by Juanjo Mena and the BBC Philharmonic of the Piano Concerto in C minor, the two suites of incidental music from Ramuntcho, and two shorter pieces. Pierné's career extended from the late Romantic era to the early modern, a period spanning roughly 50 years between the belle epoque in France and World War II, so there is a fairly wide range of influences. His early works share features with those of his teachers, César Franck and Jules Massenet, and his later style leans more to his contemporaries, Gabriel Fauré and Claude Debussy; overall, however, his oeuvre is perhaps closest to the music of Camille Saint-Saëns. Whether in the grand form of his Piano Concerto (which was modeled on Saint-Saëns' Piano Concerto No. 2 in G minor), the neo-Classical wit of the Divertissements sur un thème pastoral, or in the other picturesque pieces on this album, Pierné's charming melodies, pristine colors, and vivacious rhythms are often arresting and always memorable. Pianist Jean-Efflam Bavouzet delivers a robust performance of the concerto that is exciting in the fast sections, but luxuriant in more reflective passages, and the orchestra offers a wonderful palette of sonorities in the accompaniment. Chandos' reproduction is excellent, offering vivid sonorities, spacious acoustics, and vibrant presence in all of the selections. © TiVo
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Classical - Released September 25, 2015 | Chandos

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason
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Classical - Released March 1, 2013 | Timpani

Booklet Distinctions Diapason d'or - 10 de Répertoire - 4F de Télérama - Cannes Classical Music Award - Joker de Crescendo - Grand Prix de l'Académie Charles Cros - 4 étoiles Classica
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Concertos - Released June 5, 2012 | BIS

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason - 4 étoiles Classica - Exceptional Sound Recording
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Mélodies (French) - Released November 19, 2013 | Timpani

Booklet Distinctions 4 étoiles Classica
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Classical - Released March 1, 2013 | Timpani

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Opera - Released January 1, 2008 | Timpani

Booklet Distinctions 4 étoiles du Monde de la Musique - Joker de Crescendo - Diapason découverte
Pierné's chamber opera Sophie Arnould is a setting of a sweet verse play about two lovers long parted who meet again on the verge of their old age. Its pastel music matches the play's understated, bittersweet tone, but the composer rarely allows it to take lyrical flight. The text setting primarily consists of a meandering parlando. There are some lovely moments, but there's little sense of dramatic or musical direction, so the moments don't add up to a great deal. Sophie Marin-Degor makes the most of the title role and sings with sweet tone. As her former lover, Jean-Sébastien Bou for the most part sings with warmth, but occasionally seems to lack vocal control and produces some unlovely sounds. Ballet de Cour is a suite of orchestral pieces in the form of Baroque dances. In it, Pierné aims very much for the same effect as Ravel's Tombeau de Couperin -- updated versions of classic dances, a rigaudon, passepied, "Le Canarie," pavane, saltarello, menuet, and passa-mezzo. The composer isn't as audacious in his transformation of the old forms as Ravel, and the result is less compelling, but it's a charming suite nonetheless. Nicolas Chalvin leads Orchestre Philharmonique du Luxembourg in a committed performance, but the intonation in the violins' upper register is sometimes dubious. © TiVo
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Chamber Music - Released January 1, 2006 | Timpani

Booklet Distinctions Diapason d'or - 4 étoiles du Monde de la Musique - 9 de Classica-Répertoire
Thanks to the efforts of the Timpani label, the music of French conductor and composer Gabriel Pierné is being recorded with consistent high quality and thorough coverage, particularly in this series of his chamber works. Pierné's music dates from the late Romantic and early modern eras, a period spanning roughly 50 years between the belle epoque and World War II. As one might imagine, Pierné's works have several features in common with those of his teachers, Franck and Massenet, and to a lesser extent, some traits shared with his contemporaries, Fauré and Debussy; in short, his oeuvre is perhaps closest in attitude and approach to the music of Camille Saint-Saëns. Listening to this double-disc package of Pierné's compositions for various combinations of instruments, whether in sonata form or as single-movement character pieces, one is struck by his graceful melodies, effervescent timbres, and lively rhythms, rather than by any formal matters or developmental procedures; and his music is often infused with the charming languor that is most associated with the fin de siècle. This poignant, perfumed style dominates Disc 1, especially in the Sonata for violin and piano (1900), but it is contrasted by the darker hues and brooding intensity of the Piano Quintet (1916-1917), which points to a more impressionistic phase. Disc 2 is filled with several delightful preludes and short pieces for woodwinds, but the major pieces are the Sonata da camera for flute, cello and piano (1926), and the ballet Giration (1933), which, while equally appealing in color and melody, have more substantial and satisfying forms. The performances by soloists from the Luxembourg Philharmonic Orchestra are led by Christian Ivaldi, in many instances from the piano; and these musicians demonstrate a genuine fondness for this light music, as well as a kind of virtuosity that is always high-spirited and effortless. Timpani's audio quality is exceptional, with bright sonorities and a warm resonance that make these performances especially inviting. © TiVo
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Chamber Music - Released January 1, 2006 | Timpani

Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason - 4 étoiles du Monde de la Musique - 9 de Classica-Répertoire
The prevailing wisdom about late Romantic French music is that it is inferior to the German model; a ridiculous notion, but it has proven very powerful in the way such music is received and evaluated over the course of musical history. One of the finest, most well-rounded talents to be found in French music during the transitional period between romanticism and early modernism is Gabriel Pierné, whose work begins in a post-Franckian idiom, picks up some elements along the way from impressionism, and, toward the end, adopts stylistic gestures from Stravinsky and the tart, pithy neo-Classicism of Les Six. However, in terms of formal development models and overall mood, all of Pierné's work remains faithful in its essentials to his initial contact with César Franck and to the group of composers within Franck's sphere of influence -- Tournemire, Duparc, Chausson, and Silvio Lazzari among them. The Belgian label Timpani is surveying the practically forgotten chamber output of Pierné, of which this, Gabriel Pierné: La Musique de Chambre, Vol. 2, is the second entry. Pierné's music is performed by members of the Orchestre Philharmonique de Luxembourg under the general direction of pianist Christian Ivaldi. Pierné's single-movement Cello Sonata (1922) is like a chat with a brilliant conversationalist, moving forward in a sort of logic of its own but diverging from the path here and there. It is flanked by two cello pieces from the 1880s, and these are so similar to the solo sonata in feeling that one is surprised to discover that not all of these pieces are cut from the same cloth. The Trio for violin, cello and piano, Op. 45 (1920-1921), is an unquestionable masterwork, romantic in style but tinged with just enough impressionistic flair to make it stand out from purely romantic works of its kind. It is a very long Trio, lasting 41 minutes all told; the first movement alone runs 20 minutes and has some extraordinarily sustained passages of suspended harmony that keeps the listener on the edge of their seat. The second disc is made up of shorter pieces, most from the last years of Pierné's life. Special guests the Quatuor de saxophones de Luxembourg turn in a bracing reading of Pierné's Introduction et variations sur un theme populaire, written for legendary saxophonist Marcel Mule, which runs in its eight minutes from a deeply affecting slow section to peppy and invigorating finale -- it certainly could have run longer. Pierné's music did not contribute to the innovations of his time, but it certainly was never reactionary and he preferred to reflect the developments around him; the Impromptu-Caprice for harp could easily be mistaken for an early work of Gabriel Fauré, whereas the Introduction et variations sur un theme populaire is reminiscent of Darius Milhaud. Pierné's scoring is very generous and instrument-friendly, and although some of these pieces have appeared on recording before, they have never been performed with such dedication as they are here. If you like Debussy, Fauré, or other composers of the French school of the fin de siècle, then chances are you will also like Timpani's Gabriel Pierné: La Musique de Chambre, Vol. 2, down to its amusing choice of cover illustration. © TiVo
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Symphonic Music - Released January 1, 2007 | Timpani

Booklet Distinctions Diapason d'or de l'année - Diapason d'or
Timpani's survey of the works of Gabriel Pierné has previously covered his charming chamber works and witty orchestral bonbons, but the series takes a detour into more atmospheric orchestral music on this 2007 release. The three works lavishly presented here by conductor Jacques Mercier, the Orchestre National de Lorraine, and the Chœur Nicolas de Grigny may be classified as symphonic poems; L'An Mil (The Year 1000) is a brooding Gothic study, portraying the middle ages as perceived from a nineteenth century perspective; the Prélude from the incidental music for Les Cathédrales is a shorter piece of scene-painting, though very much in the same somber style as L'An Mil; and the triptych Paysages franciscains depicts a pilgrimage with evocative representations of nature. Pierné's music dates from the late Romantic and early modern eras, a period roughly spanning 50 years between the belle epoque and World War II; and his works have several features in common with those of his teachers, César Franck and Jules Massenet, though in his later music Pierné shows the strong influence of his friend, Claude Debussy. The performances of these pieces are appropriately moody and shaded with the colors of fin de siècle Romanticism and Impressionism; Mercier has fine control of the ensembles' tonal qualities, and he is well-attuned to the subtleties of this evanescent music. Timpani's reproduction is clear yet softly rounded, so the blurred effects and muted timbres are heard to best effect. © TiVo
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Classical - Released August 22, 1990 | Marco-Polo

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Classical - Released May 1, 1987 | Chandos

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Classical - Released September 1, 1987 | Solstice

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Classical - Released January 1, 1988 | BIS

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Chamber Music - Released October 14, 2016 | Ottavo

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Symphonic Music - Released December 10, 2013 | Common Wealth