This CD is reissued by ArkivMusic.
Notes and Editorial Reviews
This album in the
Salon Music series introduces the Swiss ensemble I Salonisti. This quintet perceives the focus of its activity not as old favorites revived for sentimental reasons of pure amusement, but rather as subtle arrangements that create true chamber music. The expression of a quite specific spirit of an epoch - the second half of the 19th century and the first two decades of our century - is musically retraced here, as found in the salons, particularly in those of the French aristocracy.
Pieces by the impressionists Debussy and Ravel were arranged by Henri Mouton for a salon ensemble within a year of their composition. This is an indication of the desire of the time that this music should not only be
performed in exclusive circles but also be made available to a more general audience.
George Enescu's musical contacts also extended to Paris at the turn of the century. In his two
Roumanian Rhapsodies the influence of the folk music of his native country is deeply felt. (His
Suite villageoise also appeared in an arrangement for salon orchestra in the year of its composition, 1937.)
The Finnish composer Jean Sibelius, who was similarly inspired by close contact with the nature and mythology of his country, wrote his
Suite mignonne, for two flutes and strings, in 1921. (A number of his other compositions from that period show "typical" features of salon music: the
Romance, Op. 42, and the
Canzonetta, Op. 62a.) The
Valse triste - extracted from its dramatic context, the dance of Death in Järnevelt's play "Death"- was heard in many forms as it swept the musical world, immediately after its premiere in 1903.
The name of Benjamin Godard is also connected with the French salons. The
Berceuse from his opera "Jocelyn" may certainly be ranked alongside the
Valse triste. The dashing
Village Wedding, from the suite
Impressions of the Countryside (Impressions de campagne), is one of Godard's many elegant compositions.
Yoshitomo is an outsider in this program, but his Japanese-lantern dance is part of the standard repertory of all light orchestras. His
Street Scenes in Hong Kong is a self-contained work, but the "East Asian Suite" from which it comes also presented a range of exotic character pieces with a very practical function - to supply the musical background for silent films.
While Yoshitomos operas and chamber music have more or less been forgotten, nothing could have been less true of the Italian pianist and composer Enrico Toselli in 1907, when he created a sensation by marrying the former Crown Princess Luise of Saxony. His famous
Serenata has remained in the repertory of all salon orchestras.
- Dirk Schortemeier, 1983
Album Liner Notes
Works on This Recording
La plus que lente by Claude Debussy
Period: 20th Century
Written: 1910; France
Noce villageoise by Benjamin Godard
Featured Sound Samples
Serenade, op 6 no 1 (Toselli)
Romanian Rhapsody no 1 (Enescu)
Préludes, Book 1 (Debussy): No 8: La fille aux cheveux de lin
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