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Petitgirard: The Little Prince / Budapest Studio Choir, Honved Male Choir

Petitgirard / Soloists Of The Hungarian Sym Orch
Release Date: 08/27/2013 
Label:  Naxos   Catalog #: 8573113  
Composer:  Laurent Petitgirard
Conductor:  Laurent Petitgirard
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Hungarian Symphony OrchestraHonved Male ChoirBudapest Studio Choir
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 0 Hours 59 Mins. 

In Stock: Usually ships in 24 hours.  

Notes and Editorial Reviews



PETITGIRARD The Little Prince Laurent Petitgirard, cond; Budapest Studio Ch; Honvéd Male Ch; Budapest Hungarian SO Soloists NAXOS 8.573113 (59:01)


Lest the headnote leave the mistaken impression that this is an orchestral representation of Antoine de Saint-Exupéry’s Le Petit Prince , let me start by naming the six instrumentalists. There are Ákos Pápai and Zoltán Szücs, who play clarinet and bass clarinet; harpist Read more Melinda Felletár; and three percussionists, Boglárka Fábry, Gabor Kerdo, and Zoltán Varga. The ballet is actually written primarily for chorus, while the soloists provide the sparest of support, or as Petitgirard explains it in his brief notes, “it sets a mixed choir in opposition to a percussion section, with a harp and clarinet duo linking the two factions. It is the combination and alternation of these three elements that bring about the move from dream to reality, from stillness to movement, and from mystery to the smile of innocence.” Exquisitely appealing, it neatly reflects the naïve charm of the children’s classic which it portrays.


The ballet score was written for Petitgirard’s wife, dancer and actress Sonia Petrovna. The impressionistic quality of the writing makes it quite accessible, and there are delightful and frequently achingly beautiful sonorities and some decidedly virtuoso writing for the chorus. For the most part, the chorus sings meaningless sounds appropriate to the mood of the section, but occasionally is given pertinent phrases from the book. The instrumentalists accompany and comment on the action, but are not limited to that, and all are highlighted during the course of the ballet. The percussion accentuates the menace of the Baobabs. The vain Rose preens a bit in a bass clarinet solo. The harp is called upon to supply the tears of the melancholy Little Prince. Petitgirard’s extensive experience in writing music for the screen—big and not-so-big—is evident here, and one is occasionally aware that the music is designed to accompany dance rather than stand on its own. Such is the atmosphere that is created, however, that this rarely matters.


Naxos has been doing yeoman’s duty of late for the French composer/conductor, having released—or in some cases rereleased—both of his operas, Joseph Merrick the Elephant Man and Guru (the former both on CD and a different performance on DVD), two discs of concertos and symphonic poems, and his excellent recording of Ravel’s Daphnis and Chloe . This last must certainly have been a large part of the inspiration for the choral writing. Can we hope for more of his recordings of Ravel, Roussel, and especially Honneger’s Jeanne d’Arc au bucher?


The ballet recording by Hungarian Radio is superbly done. The chorus—which after an initial session proved unsatisfactor 3742520.az_PETITGIRARD_Little_Prince_Laurent.html

PETITGIRARD The Little Prince Laurent Petitgirard, cond; Budapest Studio Ch; Honvéd Male Ch; Budapest Hungarian SO Soloists NAXOS 8.573113 (59:01)


Lest the headnote leave the mistaken impression that this is an orchestral representation of Antoine de Saint-Exupéry’s Le Petit Prince , let me start by naming the six instrumentalists. There are Ákos Pápai and Zoltán Szücs, who play clarinet and bass clarinet; harpist Melinda Felletár; and three percussionists, Boglárka Fábry, Gabor Kerdo, and Zoltán Varga. The ballet is actually written primarily for chorus, while the soloists provide the sparest of support, or as Petitgirard explains it in his brief notes, “it sets a mixed choir in opposition to a percussion section, with a harp and clarinet duo linking the two factions. It is the combination and alternation of these three elements that bring about the move from dream to reality, from stillness to movement, and from mystery to the smile of innocence.” Exquisitely appealing, it neatly reflects the naïve charm of the children’s classic which it portrays.


The ballet score was written for Petitgirard’s wife, dancer and actress Sonia Petrovna. The impressionistic quality of the writing makes it quite accessible, and there are delightful and frequently achingly beautiful sonorities and some decidedly virtuoso writing for the chorus. For the most part, the chorus sings meaningless sounds appropriate to the mood of the section, but occasionally is given pertinent phrases from the book. The instrumentalists accompany and comment on the action, but are not limited to that, and all are highlighted during the course of the ballet. The percussion accentuates the menace of the Baobabs. The vain Rose preens a bit in a bass clarinet solo. The harp is called upon to supply the tears of the melancholy Little Prince. Petitgirard’s extensive experience in writing music for the screen—big and not-so-big—is evident here, and one is occasionally aware that the music is designed to accompany dance rather than stand on its own. Such is the atmosphere that is created, however, that this rarely matters.


Naxos has been doing yeoman’s duty of late for the French composer/conductor, having released—or in some cases rereleased—both of his operas, Joseph Merrick the Elephant Man and Guru (the former both on CD and a different performance on DVD), two discs of concertos and symphonic poems, and his excellent recording of Ravel’s Daphnis and Chloe . This last must certainly have been a large part of the inspiration for the choral writing. Can we hope for more of his recordings of Ravel, Roussel, and especially Honneger’s Jeanne d’Arc au bucher?


The ballet recording by Hungarian Radio is superbly done. The chorus—which after an initial session proved unsatisfactory, rerecorded its part following intensive rehearsals with the composer—sings the challenging music enchantingly and now quite precisely. The soloists are excellent. The only real flaw is the lack of texts or even a synopsis of the action. Perhaps the producer, with some justification, assumed we all know the story. If one does not, the short book, with Saint-Exupéry’s illustrations, can be found reproduced online. You might look at it (again) while listening to this delightful recording.


FANFARE: Ronald E. Grames
y, rerecorded its part following intensive rehearsals with the composer—sings the challenging music enchantingly and now quite precisely. The soloists are excellent. The only real flaw is the lack of texts or even a synopsis of the action. Perhaps the producer, with some justification, assumed we all know the story. If one does not, the short book, with Saint-Exupéry’s illustrations, can be found reproduced online. You might look at it (again) while listening to this delightful recording.



FANFARE: Ronald E. Grames
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Works on This Recording

1.
The Little Prince by Laurent Petitgirard
Conductor:  Laurent Petitgirard
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Hungarian Symphony Orchestra,  Honved Male Choir,  Budapest Studio Choir
Written: 2010 

Sound Samples

The Little Prince: I. Prologue
The Little Prince: II. Le Desert (The Desert)
The Little Prince: III. Les Planetes (The Planets)
The Little Prince: IV. Les Baobabs (The Baobabs)
The Little Prince: V. Le Pays des Larmes (The Land of Tears)
The Little Prince: VI. La Rose (The Rose)
The Little Prince: VII. Les Oiseaux Sauvages (The Wild Birds)
The Little Prince: VIII. Comme le Petit Prince s'endormait (As the Little Prince Fell Asleep)
The Little Prince: IX. Le Jardin des Roses (The Rose Garden)
The Little Prince: X. La Rose et l'Arrosoir (The Rose and the Watering Can)
The Little Prince: XI. Le Secret (The Secret)
The Little Prince: XII. Les Larmes du Petit Prince (The Tears of the Little Prince)
The Little Prince: XIII. Chercher Avec Le Coeur (Search with the Heart)
The Little Prince: XIV. Choeur Final (Final Chorus)

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