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Godard: Orchestral Works / Reiland, Munich Radio Orchestra


Release Date: 04/29/2016 
Label:  Cpo   Catalog #: 555044   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Benjamin Godard
Conductor:  David Reiland
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Munich Radio Orchestra
Number of Discs: 1 
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Notes and Editorial Reviews

Not exactly a full-blown resurgence but there are now quite a few orchestral Godard entries in the catalog.

Godard proves to have had an ingenious and fertile imagination. The four-movement Second Symphony is a lively affair drawing cogently enough on the fantasy elements of Mendelssohn, Schumann and Weber. The first and third movements are quite Tchaikovskian in the Russian composer's fairy-tale mode; perhaps the lighter moments in the Manfred symphony. We are back to Schumann as a reference point for the two flanking movements. It's all very engaging, even when Godard aims at being stirring.

The Trois Morceaux range from cloudily earnest reflection to eldritch skittishness to what seems to be an evocation of
Read more a sultry Spanish evening. The three pieces end with a crashing Massenet-style climax.

Godard loved his exotic pictorial titles. His symphonies include a Symphonie Orientale and a Symphonie Légendaire. The shorter Symphonie Gothique starts darkly. It proceeds among solemn Brahmsian groves but soon finds an equally Brahmsian levity. The whole work has the air of something veering between Brahms' Haydn Variations and Second Symphony. It has the air of a suite rather than a brow-knitted symphony.

We are not told who wrote the liner essay but it is a good example of its kind: approachable and logically laid out section by section. It's difficult to tell without a performing tradition but the performances feel convinced and convincing. As for the recording quality this is sturdy but with room for detail in a warm acoustic. I trust that we will hear more from Reiland and the Munich Radio orchestra.

– MusicWeb International (Rob Barnett) Read less

Works on This Recording

1.
Symphony No. 2 in B-Flat Major, Op. 57 by Benjamin Godard
Conductor:  David Reiland
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Munich Radio Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1879 
2.
Pieces (3) for Piano, Op. 51 by Benjamin Godard
Conductor:  David Reiland
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Munich Radio Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1879 
3.
Symphonie gothique, Op. 23 by Benjamin Godard
Conductor:  David Reiland
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Munich Radio Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1874 

Featured Sound Samples

Symphony No. 2 in B-Flat Major, Op. 57: I. Allegretto
3 Morceaux, Op. 51: No. 1, Marche funebre
Symphonie gothique, Op. 23: I. Maestoso

Customer Reviews

Average Customer Review:  1 Customer Review )
 Superb July 8, 2016 By Henry S. (Springfield, VA) See All My Reviews "A German orchestra playing French music- won't work very well, you say? Well, please guess again. This new CPO recording features three vibrant symphonic/orchestral works by the 19th century Frenchman Benjamin Godard, played just as vibrantly by the excellent Munich Radio Orchestra. According to the CD notes, the 2 symphonies and the work titled '3 Pieces' date from the early 1880's. This is music that I found to be a listener's delight- not overwhelmingly complex, yet full of great melodies and French elegance, along with enough sophistication to avoid being labeled mundane. To me, Godard's music is yet another example of the beauty of classical music from the late 19th century. Great recording- definitely recommended." Report Abuse
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