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Gounod: Symphonies 1 & 2 / Michel Plasson


Release Date: 03/25/2010 
Label:  Emi Classics   Catalog #: 63949   Spars Code: n/a 
Composer:  Charles Gounod
Conductor:  Michel Plasson
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Toulouse Capitole Orchestra
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
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This CD is reissued by ArkivMusic.

Notes and Editorial Reviews

Though I was well aware that Gounod had written symphonies, I have to confess that this is the first time I am conscious of their having come my way. My ancient edition of Grove dismissed them as "of no importance". That, at least, was a promising indicator, since such words are commonly applied to unpretentious and utterly charming music. Thus it turns out.

The First Symphony has been labelled as the model for the youthful Symphony in C of Bizet, who indeed was encouraged by Gounod himself to accept a commission to arrange the work for piano duet. The similarities of style are certainly striking, and though this was clearly a case of pupil outclassing the master, the Gounod work has plenty to offer in the same
Read more captivating style. The Second Symphony is a little weightier, with a solemn opening and a touch of Beethoven to add to the shades of Schubert and Mendelssohn; but the solemnity never lasts for long before the sparkle bursts through again.

Michel Plasson, already noted for his Rachmaninov, Offenbach, Saint-Saëns and Massenet interpretations, now shows a similar feel for Gounod's transparent melodic lines, keeping the music moving along when the shifts of rhythm might in other hands produce a stodgy effect, and making the most of the frequent surges from momentary solemnity to renewed gaiety. His Toulouse orchestra serves him admirably, particularly in the important woodwind contributions. EMI's recording is especially successsful in creating a spacious but crisp sound. Music of no importance it may be, but the record makes a diverting and persuasive case for it.

-- Gramophone [8/1980] Reviewing original LP
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Works on This Recording

1. Symphony no 1 in D major by Charles Gounod
Conductor:  Michel Plasson
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Toulouse Capitole Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1855; France 
2. Symphony no 2 in E flat major by Charles Gounod
Conductor:  Michel Plasson
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Toulouse Capitole Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1856; France 

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