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Vincent D’INDY (1851 – 1931)
Orchestral Works - Volume 6
Wallenstein Op. 12 [36:31]
Prelude to Act III of Fervaal Op. 40 [7:13]
Lied for cello and orchestra Op. 19 [8:39]
Suite dans le style ancien in D major Op. 24 [16:19]
Sérénade et Valse, Op. 28 [5:10]
Bryndís Halla Gylfadóttir (cello)
Iceland Symphony Orchestra/Rumon Gamba
rec. Eldborg, Harpa, Reykjavik, Iceland, 2014

In French music Vincent d’Indy is certainly a composer whose music is often bypassed in favour of the established names such as Saint-Saëns, Fauré, Ravel and Debussy.

This is the sixth and final release in this well received Chandos series of d’Indy’s orchestral works. Playing and recording quality have been splendid and d’Indy’s reputation has been advanced under such first-rate advocacy.

Not included in this series are the Fantaisie sur des thèmes populaires français for oboe and orchestra, Op. 31 and Concert for piano, flute, cello and strings, Op. 89 which have probably been regarded as concertos. Curiously other works in the concerto style such as the Choral varié pour saxophone solo et orchestre and the Lied, for cello and orchestra have been included.

The present disc sets out seven works including three which form interlinked tone poems described as ‘symphonic overtures’ as components of Wallenstein. This symphonic trilogy, an early work completed in 1879, is based on Friedrich Schiller’s dramatic Wallenstein poems. Albrecht von Wallenstein was a general during the Thirty Years War. Inspired by a performance of the Ring cycle that d’Indy attended at Bayreuth in 1876 the trilogy employs Wagnerian influences, leitmotifs and cyclical themes. It seems that the trilogy was often played during his lifetime but is seldom programmed today. First comes Le Camp de Wallenstein - a depiction of the triumph of the Imperial army at Magdeburg and of anxiety spreading through the camp. Second Max et Thécla (originally titled Les Piccolomini) portrays Piccolomini’s love for Thécla, Max’s death and Wallenstein’s treason. The third poem is La Mort de Wallenstein (The Death of Wallenstein) which includes the suggestion of Wallenstein’s belief in astrology. This is melodic music with an abundance of upbeat of vitality and sometimes sombre character yet it lacks the intense depth of emotional drama to be found in Wagner.

D’Indy’s first opera Fervaal, was written in 1889/95 - a work of Wagnerian proportions. Premièred in 1897 it is virtually forgotten today. Complete with leitmotifs it seems that the opera is strongly influenced by Wagner’s Parsifal and is highly chromatic. The Prelude to Act III of Fervaal is in a highly romantic style and opens in subdued mood and anxious expectation. This leads to a dramatic climax then the scheme repeats. The Lied for cello and small orchestra is an early work composed in 1884 and bears a dedication to cellist Adolphe Fischer. The solo is splendidly played here by cello principal Bryndís Halla Gylfadóttir. As the title Lied implies the gloriously warm first theme played on the cello is eminently song-like over a bed of strings. It is reprised often throughout.

Imaginatively if rather curiously scored for two flutes, trumpet and string quartet the Suite dans le style ancien, Op. 24 was written in 1886. This five movement score was possibly influenced by the Saint-Saëns Septet (1880) which includes a part for trumpet and was written for the Parisian Chamber Music Society La Trompette. In moderately contrasting movements the Suite is appealing and is in a lighter vein that demands little of the listener. The inclusion of a trumpet part adds much needed colour. The final work on the album the Sérénade et Valse, Op. 28 premièred in 1885 is another early work. Dedicated to Jules Danbé both the Sérénade and the Valse are orchestrations of solo piano pieces from 1882. Scored for single woodwind, cornet à pistons, timpani and strings it is thought that this may have been incidental music for a now forgotten play. This is delightfully undemanding, cheerful music with some interesting instrumental textures especially from the cornet à pistons.

This Chandos SACD was reviewed using a standard player. Splendidly recorded the Chandos team has provided a warm acoustic but not too muddy. There's reasonable clarity and first-class balance. The orchestra's consistently ravishing and lucid support under Gamba has conviction together with expressive characterisation.

Michael Cookson

Previous reviews: David Barker ~ William Kreindler

MWI reviews of earlier releases in this Chandos series
Volume 1
Volume 2
Volume 3
Volume 4
Volume 5

Detailed Contents
Wallenstein Op. 12 [36:31]
1-2) Wallensteins’ Camp [9:41]
3-6) Max and Thécla (The Piccolominis) [12:11]
7-10) The Death of Wallenstein [14:26]
11) Prelude to Act III of ‘Fervaal’ Op. 40 [7:13]
12) Lied for Cello and Orchestra Op. 19* [8:39]
Suite dans le style ancien in D major Op. 24 [16:19]
13) I Prélude [1:36]
14) II Entrée [3:02]
15 III Sarabande [4:11]
16 IV Menuet [3:56]
17 V Ronde française [3:24]
Sérénade et Valse, Op. 28 [5:10]
18) Sérénade [2:22]
19) Valse [2:47]



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