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Franck: Symphonic Variations, Etc / Thoillier, Van Den Hoek


Release Date: 02/19/2002 
Label:  Naxos   Catalog #: 8553472   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  César Franck
Performer:  François-Joël ThoillierFrançois-Joël ThiollierMartijn van den Hoek
Conductor:  Roberto Benzi
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Arnhem Philharmonic Orchestra
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 0 Hours 59 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews

Franck's Piano Concerto No. 2, composed when he was just 13 (an earlier attempt was destroyed), previously was available on a 1990 Schwann disc that even then was overdue for replacement. Martijn van den Hoeck gives an agile and accomplished reading here, one that fully justifies buying this CD even if you already have the other works on the program. The recording was made in the Musis Sacrum in Arnhem, whose fine Philharmonic Orchestra previously made a strong impression in its first contribution to Naxos' Franck survey. This follow-up gives the rarely played concerto a much needed new lease on life, and in every way this is a considerable advance on the Schwann version by Jean-Claude van den Eyden, whose cautiously under-stated manner Read more suits this volatile and extrovert work less well than van den Hoeck's gutsy, powerfully animated style. The Schwann production also suffers from technical flaws in both outer movements, and keyboard detailing in the adagio is poorly reproduced by the dimly-lit recording.


On this Naxos disc, which shows van den Hoeck in exceptional form in the concerto's virtuoso finale, the sound is rich, spacious, and very detailed, with the piano placed slightly back, just as you'd expect in a concert hall. François-Joël Thiollier is soloist in the remaining works, and he gives estimable accounts of each. Perhaps unsurprisingly, however, his performance of the Symphonic Variations doesn't quite attain the poise and flow of the Decca version by Bolet, Chailly, and the Concertgebouw (let alone Rubinstein/Wallenstein on RCA). But Thiollier possesses an assured technique and a firm grasp of structure, making this a very useful interpretation, especially if you don't already have this work in your collection. Recommended.
--Michael Jameson, ClassicsToday.com Read less

Works on This Recording

1.
Symphonic Variations for Piano and Orchestra, M 46 by César Franck
Performer:  François-Joël Thoillier (Piano)
Conductor:  Roberto Benzi
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Arnhem Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1885; France 
Date of Recording: 06/1995 
Venue:  Musis Sacrum, Arnhem, Netherlands 
Length: 14 Minutes 53 Secs. 
2.
Les Djinns, M 45 by César Franck
Performer:  François-Joël Thiollier (Piano)
Conductor:  Roberto Benzi
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Arnhem Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1884; France 
Date of Recording: 06/1995 
Venue:  Musis Sacrum, Arnhem, Netherlands 
Length: 12 Minutes 6 Secs. 
3.
Concerto for Piano no 2 in G minor, Op. 11 by César Franck
Performer:  Martijn van den Hoek (Piano)
Conductor:  Roberto Benzi
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Arnhem Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: circa 1835; France 
Date of Recording: 07/1997 
Venue:  Musis Sacrum, Arnhem, Netherlands 
Length: 31 Minutes 59 Secs. 

Sound Samples

Symphonic Variations, M. 46: Symphonic Variations
Les Djinns, M. 45: Les Djinns
Piano Concerto No. 2 in B minor, Op. 11: Allegro maestoso
Piano Concerto No. 2 in B minor, Op. 11: Adagio
Piano Concerto No. 2 in B minor, Op. 11: Rondo: Allegro

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