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D'Indy: Orchestral Works 3 (Symphony 3/ Diptyque Mediterraneen/ Istar/ Choral Varie)

4.0 out of 5 stars 1 customer review

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Product details

  • Conductor: Gamba
  • Composer: D'Indy
  • Audio CD (1 Mar. 2010)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Chandos
  • ASIN: B003627OM6
  • Other Editions: MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 256,975 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Track Listings

Disc: 1

  1. Third Symphony Sinfonia Brevis de Bello Gallico, Op 70
  2. Diptyque méditerranéen, Op 87 - Sigurdur Flosason/Iceland Symphony Orchestra
  3. Istar variations symphoniques
  4. Choral varié pour saxophone solo et orchestra, Op 55

Product Description

Product Description

Sinfonia Brevis de Bello Gallico op.70 - Diptyque méditerranéen op.87 - Istar variations symphoniques - Choral varié op.55 / Sigurður Flosason, saxophone - Iceland Symphony Orchestra - Rumon Gamba, direction

Review

Ruman Gamba, who certainly does his best with the intractable material of the symphony, here draws deeply sympathetic playing from his orchestra,leaving us to wish that d'Indy had always composed thus. As readers of his early diary and letters will know,beneath the formal crust he had a warm heart performance ***** recording***** --BBC Music Magazine, May2010

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
This disc is gorgeously recorded and the Iceland Symphony Orchestra and Rumon Gamba emerge as really top rank performers. The strings are arranged with first and second violins placed antiphonally left and right across the sound stage, with the basses to the left. Woodwinds are fairly forward and sweetly played and the brass is rich and rounded - a possible "fault" in this music which was composed when French orchestras were famous for their "bright" horn sound with tight vibrato (a sound that can still be heard on certain Melodia Russian recordings). The result is to clarify an already exemplary recording further.

But you will have noticed the 4 stars instead of 5 and the fact that I am only just getting to the music. Quite simply the largest piece in this collection, the four movement Third Symphony, the Sinfonia brevis on the "French War" (written 1916 - 18) is not very convincing music. The military sounds invading the pastoral peace are a little laid-on and the use of snare drum and timpani is a bit self conscious. Most seriously the treatment of a Gregorian Chant mode in the fourth movement is really quite ugly and ill conceived, especially as it is the climax of the work (movement #4 about 6 minutes and 5 seconds and following). I would not be surprised if this recording represents the best performance this work has ever had! But it still does not convince me...

The other works, however, are sheerly delightful. "Istar" suffers slightly from very long and sinuous melodic structures, making it hard to work out where the seven variations actualy occur, and perhaps it might have been helpful if Chandos had tracked them. The Choral Varie is a mini (alto) saxophone concerto and, if a little sombre, it has a haunting quality that is most attractive.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 4.0 out of 5 stars 4 reviews
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Rediscovery of d'Indy goes on 6 July 2010
By Bing-Alguin - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
The zest for new musical discoveries results in unexpected and amazing surprises. Whoever could divine that Vincent d'Indy, an almost forgotten French late 19th century composer somewhere between Wagner and impressionism, was going to be rediscovered in a successful way, and mainly so by an Icelandic symphony orchestra under a young enthusiast like Rumon Gamba? The first two volumes were brilliant and appetizing.
After all, the third one is not quite in the same division. Symphony No 3 is a rather mediocre composition, wearing the subtitle "Sinfonia brevis de Bello Gallico", i.e. the first World War, and it has in the main a character of boisterous and rambunctiously overexcited war music.
But the other three pieces introduced here are well worth listening to. Probably, d'Indy reached his best results when composing motifs taken from nature and the shifts of the day. "Diptyque Méditerranéen", Op 87, paints a Mediterranean landscape in morning sun and evening sun - that is the "Diptyque", the two-part structure of this ravishingly impressionistic music. Overwhelmingly beautiful indeed! And the symphonic variations of "Istar", Op 42, renders a mythological motif from an Assyrian epic: in order to release her lover from the realm of death, an inverted Orpheus motif!, Istar, the Goddess, has to dress off one veil for each of the seven gates of the underworld. This is an almost grave and serene tonal picture of the dance of the seven veils, in contrast to Richard Strauss's sensual version in "Salome". Most attractive is maybe "Choral varié", Op 55, a stunning, short piece for saxophone and orchestra from the very beginning of the 20th century, deliciously played by Sigurdur Flosason, remotely reminding you of Jan Garbarek's atmospheric "Officium" some years ago.
Perhaps it is recommendable to start with the earlier two volumes first, especially No 2 with the magnificent second symphony. Probably, after that, it'll be difficult to resist the third one too, with its three highlights, as excellently played by Gamba and the Iceland Symphony Orchestra as No 1 and 2.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Lesser-known AND substantial 5 Jun. 2010
By Arne Sande - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
This music comes in a category many of us are interested in: Lesser-known music which actually has merit (usually there are sound reasons why most works are rarely played). I have greatly enjoyed these works since I discovered them on a 4-cd series from French EMI, during the 90s. The new recordings have even better sound, and offer certain additional items. The EMI discs, with French orchestras and conductors, are in no way inferior, with very good sound and interpretations (if you can get them). A new series on CHANDOS is very welcome. The music itself is late romantic and often impressionistic (but not modern like say, La Mer). Only the few wellknown works are issued on CD anything remotely like frequently. Highly recommended (all three CDs released so far).
7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Surprising, cinematic, fully enjoyable discovery 16 July 2010
By D. Lai - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
When I first popped this disc into my car, before the first track even started playing, I thought, "Who IS this guy? What's up with this 'new' music?"

To my surprise, this 'new' music was incredibly lush, cinematic, and passionate. Also to my surprise, there was nothing 'new' about French composer Vincent d'Indy who lived from 1851-1931.

The disc opens with Istar and its lush, atmospheric opening with prominent horns and woodwinds. This is followed by a melodic interplay between solo strings (violin) and solo woodwinds (oboe/flute). Then enters a happy jaunt which is quickly interrupted by a march followed by swirling romantic themes (reminiscent of of Bernard Hermann at his romantic best) coming to a grand conclusion.

D'Indy's Chorale Varie for saxophone is beautiful, moody, and solemn with a tonal texture similar to Dvorak's New World Symphony composed 10 years earlier. The saxophone proves to be a worthy symphonic instrument too often overlooked.

Symphony #3 is a little of a mixed bag, however. The 1st movement is indicated as "Lent et Calme," but it more closely resembles a march with mildly calm moments. The 2nd carries on in a brisk, playful mood. In contrast, the 3rd opens with moody solo lines from the woodwinds (flute, oboe, clarinet) which continue throughout. The sometime gallant / sometime lumbering 4th movement is announced by the horns followed by the bass drum and timpani. D'Indy's sparse orchestration is what makes it lumber for me as the least interesting of the four movements, which makes for an unsatisfying close to an otherwise worthwhile piece.

The disc closes with Diptyque Mediterraneen, featuring a sunrise (part one) and sunset (part two). Part One of this lush, exceedingly beautiful tone poem opens quietly with shimmering strings accented with brief lines from the winds, slowly to the early morning sun - thus its title of "Soleil Matinale." On a personal note, I'm a sucker for sunrise music - I love when the music "emerges" in soft, shimmering pieces, gradually increasing in radiance until the full splendor of life surrounds you. Sunset music, however, is totally new for me and it is what D'Indy tackles as the subject of Part Two, "Soleil Vesperal." He does an admirable job of reversing the sun's movement, ushering in the darkness at the very close of the piece.
4 of 17 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars No masterpieces here 5 July 2010
By P. Weber - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I played this CD three times and tried to like it but I have mixed feelings about this music. The short pieces (Istar and the Choral Varie) are pleasant and tuneful and probably the most interesting works on this CD. The Diptyque Mediterraneen pieces are pleasant but let's face it, this is weak music, and Gamba's slow pace doesn't help. Symphony #3 is rather uneven and pales next to d'Indy's Symphony on a French Mountain Air, a far better work. At times Symphony #3 sounds like third rate music and a run through where the music goes on and on with too few interesting ideas. The first movement is the best part of this work. The rest of it is nothing memorable. The last movement of the symphony is a complete dud. Very good playing & excellent sound though. I'd say go for volume 1 in this series first, then if you feel adventurous try this one. But judging from this disc I can see why d'Indy was largely forgotten about.
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