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Franck: Symphony in D Minor / Plasson

Release Date: 02/06/2007 
Label:  Emi Classics   Catalog #: 72469   Spars Code: n/a 
Composer:  César Franck
Performer:  Jean-Philippe Collard
Conductor:  Michel Plasson
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Toulouse Capitole Orchestra
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 0 Hours 56 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews

FRANCK Symphony in d. Symphonic Variations for Piano and Orchestra Michel Plassson, cond; Jean-Philippe Collard (pn); Capitole de Toulouse O EMI 72469 (55:44)

Recorded in 1985, the Symphony receives a rattling good performance. It is not a great one, like Beecham’s, with the French Radio Orchestra, in which every detail is shaped and telling, guided by the sure timing of a master raconteur, nor does it possess the Manichaean conviction of the classic Monteux/Chicago Read more performance. But it is similarly paced and superbly cohesive—where many latter-day performances veer to the ramshackle and noisy—leavened with lift, lilt, and zest, captured with panoramic detail and upfront immediacy in crisp digital. Plasson may not buy Franck’s light-in-darkness program, but he projects the work’s drama.

Among 21st-century performances of choice, Philippe Herreweghe’s, with the Orchestre des Champs Élysées (Harmonia Mundi 901771), is given with a suave briskness demonstrating that ecstasy and dignity are not incompatible, while suggesting a disarming application of Alfred North Whitehead’s observation, “Religion is force of belief cleansing the inward parts.” In the Symphonic Variations , from the same sessions, Collard seems to have Franck’s doubt-vs.-faith scenario much at heart, beginning wanly to persevere with muted questioning and soar at last on ecstatically lyrical wings. One may turn to more forthright and exhilarating performances marking the historical record—Cortot with Landon Ronald and the LSO in 1927, Yves Nat with Gaston Poulet leading the Concerts Pierné Orchestra in 1942, or (a personal favorite) Casadesus with Ormandy and the Philadelphia Orchestra in 1958—but Collard’s deft touch couched in Plasson’s mellowed felicity triumphantly struts another, subtler, prehension. And that’s to say, enthusiastically recommended.

FANFARE: Adrian Corleonis
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Works on This Recording

Symphony in D minor, M 48 by César Franck
Conductor:  Michel Plasson
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Toulouse Capitole Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1886-1888; France 
Symphonic Variations for Piano and Orchestra, M 46 by César Franck
Performer:  Jean-Philippe Collard (Piano)
Conductor:  Michel Plasson
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Toulouse Capitole Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1885; France 

Customer Reviews

Average Customer Review:  1 Customer Review )
 Fantastic Franck April 19, 2013 By Gary Mitchell (Independence, KS) See All My Reviews "This recording didn't get glowing reviews when it came out, but it is a solid performance of the Frank Symphony and a more-than-solid account of the Symphonic Variations. Collard and Plasson work well together on that piece. And I think Plasson has a sensitive, spot-on interpretation of the Symphony. Very enjoyable, both." Report Abuse
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