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
The excellent and stylish
Paray in French music both romantic