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Schmitt: Psaume Xlvii, Etc / Fischer, Buffle, Et Al


Release Date: 07/10/2007 
Label:  Hyperion   Catalog #: 67599   Spars Code: n/a 
Composer:  Florent Schmitt
Performer:  Christine Buffle
Conductor:  Thierry Fischer
Orchestra/Ensemble:  BBC National Orchestra of WalesBBC National Chorus of Wales
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
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Notes and Editorial Reviews



SCHMITT Psaume XLVII. 1 Suite sans esprit de suite. La tragédie de Salomé 2 Thierry Fischer, cond; Christine Buffle (sop); 1 Charles Humphries (org); 1 Jennifer Walker (sop); 2 BBC Natl O of Wales & Ch 1,2 HYPERION 67599 (78:19) Read more


Hyperion’s panoramic aural perspective, warmly detailed in quieter moments and tumultuously filled at the frequently frenzied, makes a best sonic case for these overloaded blockbusters, the glistening, profound orchestral capture rendering Florent Schmitt’s fin de siècle contrivance of luridly empurpled passages with varieties of violet and mauve, so to speak, as seen through smog in a Los Angeles sunset. That is, these winningly brioso accounts belong in any Schmitt collection, while the engaging swagger of the Suite sans esprit de suite is a net discographic gain. But it must also be said that as one goes back, and sound gathers hiss and graininess, performances become tauter, more telling, more surely idiomatic. For instance, Marek Janowski’s 1990 tilt at Salomé and the Psalm with Sharon Sweet and the Radio France Chorus and Orchestra (Apex 62764, Fanfare 30: 3), while similar in approach, is brisker and more bracing. Jean Martinon’s goose-stepping quick march in his 1972 go at Psalm XLVII , with the ORTF orchestra (nla EMI 749748), is bracingly brutal in a manner that leaves Fischer seeming to wallow; while Fischer’s sagging through the Psalm ’s sensuous midsection taxes Christine Buffle’s attempt to spirit up and sustain a putatively orientalizing rapture in her long solo (difficult, in any case, given Schmitt’s vapid, unmemorable melodizing) where Andrea Guiot, for Martinon, despite her recessed placement, manages this chore with aplomb at a marginally more pressing pace.


In La tragédie de Salomé , Fischer realizes Schmitt’s many garish effects with glowing assurance, only to be upstaged by the nonpareil Paul Paray in his 1958 go with the Detroit Symphony (Mercury 434 336) in which expressiveness of detail within a hair-grasping sweep leaves Fischer’s forces seeming to stagger and mumble. And if the composer’s own 1930 direction of the Straram Concerts Orchestra (EMI/Arkiv 54840) isn’t quite the last word in helter-skelter cataclysm—Fischer’s timings are most within a few seconds of Schmitt’s—it nevertheless evinces a plasticity and detailed animation one is unlikely to hear from contemporary bands. But comparisons are always invidious, and to state them at all is to overstate. The current issue is generally splendid, graced with sympathetic, richly informed notes by Calum MacDonald, and enthusiastically recommended.


FANFARE: Adrian Corleonis
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Works on This Recording

1.
Psaume 47, Op. 38 by Florent Schmitt
Performer:  Christine Buffle (Soprano)
Conductor:  Thierry Fischer
Orchestra/Ensemble:  BBC National Orchestra of Wales,  BBC National Chorus of Wales
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1904; France 
2.
La tragédie de Salomé, Op. 50 by Florent Schmitt
Performer:  Christine Buffle (Soprano)
Conductor:  Thierry Fischer
Orchestra/Ensemble:  BBC National Orchestra of Wales,  BBC National Chorus of Wales
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1907/1910; France 
3.
Suite sans epirit de suite, Op. 89 by Florent Schmitt
Performer:  Christine Buffle (Soprano)
Conductor:  Thierry Fischer
Orchestra/Ensemble:  BBC National Orchestra of Wales,  BBC National Chorus of Wales
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1937; France 

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