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Cesar Franck - Symphony in D Minor, Symphonic Variations, Les Eolides [CD]

Louis Lortie Audio CD

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Hailed as "one of perhaps half a dozen pianists who it is worth dropping everything to go and hear" (Daily Telegraph, London), Canadian pianist Louis Lortie has been praised for the fresh perspective and individuality he brings to a deliberately broad spectrum of the keyboard canon. He studied in Montreal with Yvonne Hubert (a pupil of the great French pianist, Alfred Cortot), in ... Read more in Amazon's Louis Lortie Store

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1. Les Eolides
2. Symphonic Variations
3. Symphony in D minor

Product Description

BBC Review

Yan Pascal Tortelier's long series of French music recordings has often proved ideal in tone colour, pacing and expressive style, limited only by the orchestras' technique. Happily the BBC Philharmonic, like the Ulster Orchestra before it, has steadily improved towards performances that appeal more deeply than the relatively slick catalogue conducted by Charles Dutoit - not a current option for Franck's Symphony anyway. This time Les Éolides joins a well-tried pairing. It's a fleet, atmospheric tone poem whose delicacy of sound will surprise listeners who know only the Symphony. Really it is more typical of Franck, as witness at least the Symphony's middle movement. Tortelier feels slow in this latter fusion of scherzo and lyrical interlude, until the pointed vitality of the more animated music vindicates him. The whole Symphony has unusual rhythmic energy and, elsewhere, pace, moving the first movement on so that the big tunes pick up momentum instead of making the structure sag. Incisive brass tone helps the climaxes glow and exult. Again typically fresh, Romantic and fluent in the Symphonic Variations, Tortelier has an evident ally in Lortie, who makes the beginning conversational rather than brusque and unfolds the melodies with broad rubato and a full tonal range. There's a lovely transition to the central variations, and a surging finale. Chandos catches the bright sound colours and keeps resonance under control. Main items become clear choices in the absence of idiomatic alternatives for the Symphony, and for the Variations unless you fancy more offbeat couplings from Roge (ASV) and the historical Cortot (Naxos or Philips).

Performance *****
Sound ****

© BBC Music Magazine 2001

Product Description

Variations symphoniques - Les Eolides - Symphonie en ré mineur / Louis Lortie, piano - BBC Philharmonic - Yan Pascal Tortelier, direction

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Amazon.com: 4.5 out of 5 stars  2 reviews
10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Well conducted Franck Orchestral works 6 Mar 2009
By R. Rockwell - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
I must thank the Rough Guide for recommending these very well conducted orchestral work of Franck by fellow Frenchman Tortelier. The CD begins with Les Eolides. (the winds a symphonic poem perfectly captures the Mistral winds of southern France,. The symphonic variation for piano and orchestra is considered by many critics to be Frank's masterpiece is modeled on Liszt's principal or thematic transformation but has none of his virtuoso playing instead it achieves it's effect by the variation which constantly changing and it is beautiful from start to finish. The soloist is Louis Lottie whose performance brought tears to m eyes.
It's hard to imagine that Franck's sole symphony was hated by the critics when it premiered because is charming from finish and well known for it's use of a solo cor anglais during the allegretto and also by the return of the theme at several times during the symphony, . Even though I have not heard any other versions of these works I cannot imagine a more dedicated version of these challenging and quite moving works
Please excuse any typos I have a neurologic disease
4.0 out of 5 stars Good but not great performances 22 Jan 2014
By Paul S. Rottenberg - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
The Franck Symphony is given a good, solid, while not inspired, performance by Torteilier and the BBC Phil., not quite up to the heights scaled by the classic accounts of Monteux and Dutoit. Unfortunately, Louis Lortie is just plain dull and pedestrain in the Symphonic Variations. Get the Rubinstein or the Larrocha for that. However, the tone poem "Les Eolides" is played very well, indeed. Lovely. Sound is a bit distant and even muddy in the Symphony and Variations. The tone poem fares better. Perhaps Torteilier should give us a record of Franck's lesser known orchestra works, since the short example on this disc is certainly attractive.
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