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Gemini - Franck: Symphony, Etc / Plasson, Et Al


Release Date: 04/24/2007 
Label:  Emi Classics   Catalog #: 81783   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  César Franck
Performer:  Jean-Philippe CollardAugustin Dumay
Conductor:  Michel Plasson
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Toulouse Capitole OrchestraMuir String Quartet
Number of Discs: 2 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 2 Hours 26 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 reviewing the orchestral works
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Works on This Recording

1.
Symphony in D minor, M 48 by César Franck
Conductor:  Michel Plasson
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Toulouse Capitole Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1886-1888; France 
2.
Quintet for Piano and Strings in F minor, M 7 by César Franck
Performer:  Jean-Philippe Collard (Piano)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Muir String Quartet
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1878-1879; France 
3.
Sonata for Violin and Piano in A major, M 8 by César Franck
Performer:  Jean-Philippe Collard (Piano), Augustin Dumay (Violin)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1886; France 
4.
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 
5.
Prelude, Chorale and Fugue for Piano, M 21 by César Franck
Performer:  Jean-Philippe Collard (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1884; France 

Sound Samples

Symphony in D minor: I. Lento - Allegro non troppo
Symphony in D minor: II. Allegretto - Poco più lento - Tempo I
Symphony in D minor: III. Allegro non troppo
Variations symphoniques
Prélude, Choral and Fugue in B minor: Prélude
Prélude, Choral and Fugue in B minor: Choral
Prélude, Choral and Fugue in B minor: Fugue
Quintet in F minor for piano and string quartet: Molto moderato quasi lento. Allegro
Quintet in F minor for piano and string quartet: Lento con molto sentimento
Quintet in F minor for piano and string quartet: Allegro non troppo ma con fuoco
Violin Sonata in A major: Allegretto ben moderato
Violin Sonata in A major: Allegro
Violin Sonata in A major: Recitativo-Fantasia (ben moderato)
Violin Sonata in A major: Allegretto pcoc mosso

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