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French Connections - Debussy, Faure, Massenet / Tortelier


Release Date: 08/06/2007 
Label:  Virgin Classics   Catalog #: 61109   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Claude DebussyGabriel FauréGabriel PiernéJules Massenet,   ... 
Performer:  Paul TortelierJosé Luis GarciaMichael ReevesSusan Milan,   ... 
Conductor:  Paul Tortelier
Orchestra/Ensemble:  English Chamber Orchestra
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 0 Hours 54 Mins. 

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This CD is reissued by ArkivMusic.

Notes and Editorial Reviews

I think the title means French music of the Impressionist period, for that is indeed what it is and most beautifully given into the bargain, both performance and recording being of the very first dass.

Most substantial of the pieces is the Debussy L'apres-midi d'un faune prelude, the ECO and Tortelier between them creating totally ravishing sounds. (Susan Milan is rightly given credit for the principal flute part, though there will be an ungallant few who think her vibrato is on this occasion sometimes too wide.) Another Debussy contribution is his scoring of two of Satie's Gymnopedies, beautiful but close to identical: if the third Gymnopedie was actually different, it was a pity Debussy did not score that, too, in order to
Read more have something with which to separate the others. Further successes (as they almost always are) are the Faure Pavane and Pierne's March of the toy soldiers (''March of the little lead soldiers'', used in the booklet, seems a literal but unidiomatic translation!).

Tortelier not only conducts, but also in several pieces contributes solo cello-playing which adds further to the beauty of sound available. Perhaps ''Le cygne'' had to be there, obviously the best cello music (as such!) ever written (can any reader remind me of the name of the German cellist who travelling for many years with the Pavlova company, made a good living out of playing nothing whatever other than this one piece?). So too the Faure Elegie, in orchestral form obviating the difficulty, with piano accompaniment, of the solo cellist trying to look soulful for the whole middle section while playing simple bass notes to the piano's tune. And two rather more unexpected pieces: Massenet's Last Sleep of the Virgin (reminding us it was one of Beecham's favourite 'lollipops', without offering any evidence as to why); and a totally charming family contribution from Mr and Mrs Tortelier, playing a two-cello version, with the orchestra, of Tortelier's own Alla Maud waltz. What better finale for the record could conceivably have been chosen?

-- Gramophone
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Works on This Recording

1. Petite suite for Piano 4 hands: no 1, En bateau by Claude Debussy
Conductor:  Paul Tortelier
Orchestra/Ensemble:  English Chamber Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1886-1889; France 
Date of Recording: 1987 
Venue:  EMI Abbey Road Studio No. 1, London 
Length: 3 Minutes 53 Secs. 
Notes: Orchestrated: Büsser 
2. Pavane, Op. 50 by Gabriel Fauré
Conductor:  Paul Tortelier
Orchestra/Ensemble:  English Chamber Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1887; France 
Date of Recording: 1987 
Venue:  EMI Abbey Road Studio No. 1, London 
Length: 5 Minutes 34 Secs. 
3. Album pour mes petits amis, Op. 14: no 6, Marche des petits soldats de plomb by Gabriel Pierné
Performer:  Paul Tortelier (Cello)
Conductor:  Paul Tortelier
Orchestra/Ensemble:  English Chamber Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: France 
Date of Recording: 1987 
Venue:  EMI Abbey Road Studio No. 1, London 
Length: 3 Minutes 9 Secs. 
4. Thaïs: Meditation by Jules Massenet
Performer:  José Luis Garcia (Violin)
Conductor:  Paul Tortelier
Orchestra/Ensemble:  English Chamber Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1894; France 
Date of Recording: 1987 
Venue:  EMI Abbey Road Studio No. 1, London 
Length: 5 Minutes 27 Secs. 
5. Gymnopédies (3) for Piano: Excerpt(s) by Erik Satie
Conductor:  Paul Tortelier
Orchestra/Ensemble:  English Chamber Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1888; France 
Date of Recording: 1987 
Venue:  EMI Abbey Road Studio No. 1, London 
Length: 5 Minutes 36 Secs. 
6. Elégie for Cello and Piano, Op. 24 by Gabriel Fauré
Performer:  Paul Tortelier (Cello)
Conductor:  Paul Tortelier
Orchestra/Ensemble:  English Chamber Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1880; France 
Date of Recording: 1987 
Venue:  EMI Abbey Road Studio No. 1, London 
Length: 7 Minutes 28 Secs. 
7. Carnival of the animals: no 13, The swan by Camille Saint-Saëns
Performer:  Paul Tortelier (Cello), Michael Reeves (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1886; France 
Date of Recording: 1987 
Venue:  EMI Abbey Road Studio No. 1, London 
Length: 2 Minutes 38 Secs. 
8. Prélude à l'après-midi d'un faune by Claude Debussy
Performer:  Susan Milan (Flute)
Conductor:  Paul Tortelier
Orchestra/Ensemble:  English Chamber Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1892-1894; France 
Date of Recording: 1987 
Venue:  EMI Abbey Road Studio No. 1, London 
Length: 9 Minutes 46 Secs. 
Notes: Composition written: France (1892 - 1894). 
9. La Vierge: Dernier sommeil de la Vierge by Jules Massenet
Conductor:  Paul Tortelier
Orchestra/Ensemble:  English Chamber Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1880; France 
Date of Recording: 1987 
Venue:  EMI Abbey Road Studio No. 1, London 
Length: 4 Minutes 13 Secs. 
10. Valse "alla Maud" by Paul Tortelier
Performer:  Maud Tortelier (Cello)
Conductor:  Paul Tortelier
Orchestra/Ensemble:  English Chamber Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Date of Recording: 1987 
Venue:  EMI Abbey Road Studio No. 1, London 
Length: 6 Minutes 10 Secs. 

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