One of the most grown-up review sites around

54,416 reviews
and more.. and still writing ...

Search MusicWeb Here



International mailing

Founder: Len Mullenger                                    Editor in Chief:John Quinn             


Crotchet   AmazonUK   AmazonUS

Emmanuel CHABRIER (1841-1894)
España [6:38]; Suite Pastorale [16:00]; Fête Polonaise and Danse Slave from Le Roi malgré lui [7:30; 5:12]; Overture: Gwendoline [8:44]; Joyeuse Marche [3:40]; Bourrée Fantasque [6:15]
Albert ROUSSEL (1869-1937)

Suite in F Op. 33 [13:13]
Detroit SO/Paul Paray
rec. Ford Auditorium, Detroit 19 Mar 1957 (Bourrée; Suite in F); Old Orchestra Hall, Detroit 5 Apr 1959 (Joyeuse); Cass Technical High School, Detroit and Old Orchestra Hall 18 Nov 1959 (rest) ADD
Originally issued Mercury LPs: SR90212; SR90211; SR90005; SR175100 (Suite F)
SACD reviewed in CD mode


Paray (1886-1979) made his debut in the USA with the NYPO at Lewisohn Stadium in 1939. He then returned to France and served with the Maquis. In 1952 he was appointed conductor of the Detroit Orchestra and left in 1963.

This Chabrier collection has been well known for many years. Paray’s España radiates brio, a cheery wink and a joyful exuberance. The expressive phrasing still has the power to inspire affection. The Suite Pastorale is an orchestration of four pieces from Dix Pièces Pittoresques, flighty and rustic, kindly and joyous. The Fête Polonaise and the Danse Slave have the lickety-split pomp and charm we may know from Massenet's suites - typically El Cid. The Danse Slave keeps pointing towards España. The Joyeuse Marche is in much the same idiom but rather overcast by some gentle breakup in the right-hand channel. The Gwendoline Overture takes us into an unaccustomed mood. The overweening and surging writing speaks of heroism and tragedy - of great deeds and fantasy heroes. The crashing finale and the harp ‘slashes’ at the end register with uncommon satisfaction. The Bourrée Fantasque sound a mite tubbier than the other tracks. It was recorded in the Ford Auditorium in 1957. The Bourrée is featured here in a jewelled orchestration by the conductor Felix Mottl.

The Roussel Suite in F is in three movements. The younger composer’s style is distant from that of Chabrier. The Suite was written for Koussevitsky and Boston. The music boils with a sort of ruthless clamant mechanical joy in the two Honegger-like outer movements. They hem in a dreamy, yet far from romantic, Sarabande.

This disc presents the tapes for the first time in their three channel (left, right centre) format, a new DSD stereo and the original CD transfer. I heard these in CD format.

Excellent and generously full notes.

The excellent and stylish Paray in French music both romantic and modernistic.

Rob Barnett

Return to Index

Untitled Document

Reviews from previous months
Join the mailing list and receive a hyperlinked weekly update on the discs reviewed. details
We welcome feedback on our reviews. Please use the Bulletin Board
Please paste in the first line of your comments the URL of the review to which you refer.