One of the most grown-up review sites around

2019
50,000 reviews
and more.. and still writing ...

Search MusicWeb Here

     
  
 

 

International mailing


  Founder: Len Mullenger             Senior Editor: John Quinn               Contact Seen and Heard here  

Some items
to consider

TROUBADISC

A most rewarding CD
Renate Eggebrecht violin

REFERENCE RECORDINGS

Nick Barnard review
Michael Cookson review



Acte Prealable returns
with New Releases


Anderson Choral music


colourful and intriguing


Artyomov
Pekarsky Percussion Ensemble


one of Berlioz greatest works


Rebecca Clarke Frank Bridge
High-octane performances


An attractive Debussy package


immaculate Baiba Skride


eloquent Cello Concerto


tension-filled work


well crafted and intense


Laangaard
another entertaining volume


reeking of cordite


Pappano with a strong cast


imaginatively constructed quartets


the air from another planet


vibrantly sung


NOT a budget performance


very attractive and interesting


finesse and stylistic assurance


Support us financially by purchasing this from

Alfred BRUNEAU (1857-1934)
Messidor, Act IV: Prélude (1897) [5:54]
L'Attaque du Moulin Suite (1893) [21:39]
Naïs Micoulin, Act I: Prélude (1907) [6:13]
Messidor, Act III Tableau 1: La Légende de l'Or (1897) [30:13]
Barcelona Symphony and Catalonia National Orchestra/Darrell Ang
rec. L'Auditori, Barcelona, 2017
NAXOS 8.573888 [64:31]

Curiously, the two extracts from the opera Messidor are separated at the beginning and the end of the disc, and I can only assume that this was done to help separate their rather different sound-worlds. The Prelude to Act IV is rather in the style of verismo, with reminiscences of Mascagni and Puccini, as well as Bruneau’s teacher Massenet, particularly La Navarraise. The end of the CD contains a most interesting thirty-minute, purely orchestral Tableau, originally composed as a ballet but intended to precede the opera itself. As the booklet note points out, Wagnerian touches abound as might be expected from the pen of so vehement a Wagnerian as Bruneau. For example there is a repeated dotted rhythm on a single pitch, sounding similar to the mining motif in The Ring. The whole piece is very vivid, and rises to a tumultuous climax at the end, with tam-tam and thunder sheet making a very considerable impact.

The Prelude to Act 1 of Nais Micoulin reminds one of Massenet's Cendrillon, or even of Mendelssohn in Midsummer Night’s Dream and is a delight to hear.

A 22 minute Suite from the 1893 opera L’Attaque du moulin occupies the middle of the disc, with Bruneau setting the action in the French Revolution. Verismo once again makes its appearance, with cymbal clashes that would not sound out of place in Cavalleria Rusticana, although one can appreciate that the Italian full-blooded style is somewhat tempered to suit French appetites. As in the other works, the orchestra is deployed in a masterly fashion, a further tribute to Massenet. Massanet was able to change his style to suite the then current fashion in music and this ability has percolated through to Bruneau.

Darrell Ang propels the Barcelona Symphony Orchestra in a thoroughly committed manner, and they are recorded in a warm acoustic, admirably suited to the lush romanticism of these scores. The booklet notes are short, but admirably detailed, even giving the listener track timings to points in the works where the influence of other composers can be heard.

Rob Barnett has reviewed this excellent CD here and the Requiem is favourably reviewed here by Michael Cookson.

I have enjoyed this very much, and I hope that more of Bruneau’s music will be recorded.

Jim Westhead

Previous review: Rob Barnett

 



We are currently offering in excess of 50,400 reviews


Advertising on
Musicweb


Donate and keep us afloat

 

New Releases

Naxos Classical


Nimbus Podcast


Obtain 10% discount



Special offer 50% off
15CDs £83 incl. postage

Musicweb sells the following labels
Acte Préalable
(THE Polish label)
Altus 10% off
Atoll 10% off
CRD 10% off
Hallé 10% off
Lyrita 10% off
Nimbus 10% off
Nimbus Alliance
Prima voce 10% off
Red Priest 10% off
Retrospective 10% off
Saydisc 10% off
Sterling 10% off


Follow us on Twitter

Subscribe to our free weekly review listing
sample

Sample: See what you will get

Editorial Board
MusicWeb International
Founding Editor
   
Rob Barnett
Senior Editor
John Quinn
Seen & Heard
Editor Emeritus
   Bill Kenny
Editor in Chief
   Vacant
MusicWeb Webmaster
   David Barker
MusicWeb Founder
   Len Mullenger