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Martinu: Fantaisies Symphoniques / Kout, St. Gallen Symphony Orchestra


Release Date: 04/12/2005 
Label:  Arte Nova   Catalog #: 577400   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Bohuslav Martinu
Conductor:  Jirí Kout
Orchestra/Ensemble:  St. Gallen Symphony Orchestra
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 1 Hours 3 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews

These are surprisingly good performances, despite the fact that most listeners will be unfamiliar with the performers. Certainly the St. Gallen orchestra lacks the tonal allure of, say, the Czech Philharmonic in this music. The violins overplay their vibrato at the start of the Sixth Symphony, and the brass have a couple of unsteady momements in the same work's second movement. But aside from these small quibbles, the band plays very well for conductor Jiri Kout, who obviously knows the music well and understands how to get Martinu's constantly syncopated rhythms to really sing across the bar lines. He finds many fetching textural details in these teemingly inventive scores (check out the ponticello strings in the middle movement of the Read more Frescoes), and his pacing in the symphony can't be faulted at any point. In the Frescoes I prefer a less languorous opening, but the music has the right luminous quality, and the onset of the recapitulation is magically handled. It's also very good to have the suite from Julietta readily available: it is Martinu's operatic masterpiece and contains some of his most inspired orchestration. Very good sonics complete the package. I can't recommend this Sixth over Ancerl and Neumann, or the Frescoes over Mackerras (all on Supraphon), but by the same token if you want this coupling you will likely enjoy this disc on its own terms.

--David Hurwitz, ClassicsToday.com
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Works on This Recording

1. Symphony no 6 "Fantaisies symphoniques" by Bohuslav Martinu
Conductor:  Jirí Kout
Orchestra/Ensemble:  St. Gallen Symphony Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1951-1953; USA 
2. Frescoes of Piero della Francesca for Orchestra by Bohuslav Martinu
Conductor:  Jirí Kout
Orchestra/Ensemble:  St. Gallen Symphony Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1954; Nice, France 
3. Julietta by Bohuslav Martinu
Conductor:  Jirí Kout
Orchestra/Ensemble:  St. Gallen Symphony Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1936-1937; Paris, France 

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