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Chausson: Symphony, Piano Quartet, Poemes, Concert

Notes & Reviews:

Chausson's musical output is not vast and his career was short-lived. His earliest works date from the late 1870s and his last were produced shortly before he was killed as a result of a cycling accident in 1899. A few stage pieces represent his large-scale works, along with the Symphony in B flat (1889-90) - one of the few French symphonies to have gained a small foothold in the repertory - and performed here by one of Decca's famous artistic partnerships: Dutoit and the Montreal Symphony. They provide superb support in one of Chausson's most popular works, the Poème for violin and orchestra in which Chantal Juillet is soloist. Chausson's only large-scale work for voice and orchestra is his Poème de l'amour et de la mer, a piece which receives an idiomatic and persuasive performance here with baritone François Le Roux.

... the Chausson receives ... [a] warmly spontaneous-sounding performance ... here the string quartet is given its full weight instead of being a mere addendum, and that owes much to the playing of the Ysaÿe Quartet ... speeds tend to be broader ... and the style more freely idiomatic, making this among the most persuasive of all the performances I have heard of a work which - despite the inevitable problems of lining up such an ensemble - is at last establishing its rightful place as a late romantic masterpiece, not least thanks to recordings.


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