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Franck, Lalo: Symphonies / Sir Charles Beecham


Release Date: 09/17/2007 
Label:  Emi Classics   Catalog #: 63396   Spars Code: n/a 
Composer:  César FranckEdouard Lalo
Conductor:  Sir Thomas Beecham
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
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This CD is reissued by ArkivMusic.

Notes and Editorial Reviews

These 1959 Paris Salle Wagram tapings re-emerge as studioish and a little strident, with well focused instrumental positioning (first and second violins well differentiated), vibrant rendering of the then very French woodwind timbres (reedy to some, vinegary to others, but unfailingly characterful), and a coherent balance. Sir Thomas was 80 when these recordings were made; Monteux, 85 when he made his celebrated Chicago version of the Franck in 1961 (on mid-price RCA). That Beecham's powers were undimmed as a master of orchestral balance is evident in the clarity of Franck's sometimes dense contrapuntal textures. What is even more startling is the dynamism and purposeful sweep of the whole. In the first movement there are not Monteux's Read more extremes of tempo, but a flowing lento introduction well integrated with a non troppo allegro (a melodramatic tenuto precedes a vigorous gutty thrust from the strings at the start of the allegro); and Franck's gorgeous cantabiles duly exult with domination by the red-hot brass skilfully avoided.

''Truth to tell, it's a dull work'' wrote Trevor Harvey on the original appearance of the Lalo. Unlike the Franck, it does not evolve symphonically, or speak (sing) in tongues with the same eloquent fervour. And despite its somewhat lugubrious translation of Brahms and Schumann (the 'motto' is surely all but lifted from the former's Second Piano Concerto), Lalo's Latin ancestry makes for contrasting abundant melodic warmth, colour and dance-like rhythms in abundance. Sir Thomas was a great admirer, which is to say that the work is unlikely to receive a finer performance.'

-- John Steane, Gramophone, 9/1992
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Works on This Recording

1.
Symphony in D minor, M 48 by César Franck
Conductor:  Sir Thomas Beecham
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1886-1888; France 
Date of Recording: 12/1959 
2.
Symphonie espagnole, Op. 21 by Edouard Lalo
Conductor:  Sir Thomas Beecham
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1873; France 
Date of Recording: 12/1959 

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