Notes and Editorial Reviews
The Orchestre Philharmonique du Luxembourg and its Music Director Gustavo Gimeno present a composer portrait of César Franck. The album features the famous Symphony in D Minor, as well as the lesser known, but equally enchanting Symphonic Variations for piano and orchestra, with Denis Kozhukhin as soloist. Born in Liege but raised in Paris, Franck synthesized Wagnerism with French musical traditions, resulting in a fine equilibrium between a voluptuous orchestral sound and audacious harmonies on the one hand, and lucidity and graceful charm on the other. While the three-movement symphony follows a from-darkness-to-light trajectory, the delightful Variations oscillate between symphonic poem and miniature piano concerto. The OPL and Gustavo Gimeno continue their acclaimed PENTATONE series of composer portraits that already featured monographs of Shostakovich, Bruckner, Ravel, Mahler, Stravinsky, Debussy and Rossini. Denis Kozhukhin adds another release to his extensive PENTATONE discography that already contains Grieg/Mendelssohn (2019), Strauss’s Burleske (2018), Piano Concertos by Ravel and Gershwin (2018), Tchaikovsky and Grieg (2016), as well as a Brahms solo recital (2017).