One of the most grown-up review sites around

2020
54,928 reviews
and more.. and still writing ...

Search MusicWeb Here

     
  
 

 

International mailing


 
Founder: Len Mullenger                                    Editor in Chief:John Quinn             

 

alternatively AmazonUK

 

Charles GOUNOD (1818-1893)
Symphony No. 1 in D major (1855) [28:29]
Symphony No. 2 in E flat major (1855) [39:45]
Sinfonia Finlandia Jyväskylä/Patrick Gallois
rec. Concert Hall, Suolahti, Finland, 13-15 May 2004.
NAXOS 8.557463 [68:14]
 


Gounod may be thought of as something of a one-hit-wonder. For fans of orchestral music, that hit is Funeral March for a Marionette. For opera fans, it is Faust; OK, real opera fans will likely know his other operas as well. But Gounod the symphonist is likely to be a new experience, as it was for me.
 
Gounod wrote two symphonies. However, those expecting French symphonies, or French-sounding symphonies - whatever that means, exactly - are likely to be disappointed. His early education took him to Italy and Germany, and later in life he spent much of his time in England, so it’s not surprising that he’s not tied to mid-century France. It may be more surprising that he is tied to turn-of-century Vienna. His first symphony sounds very much like late Mozart. It is full of charm and grace, with particularly attractive woodwind writing. This mood is only slightly broken by a funeral march at the beginning of the second movement that only hints at those in Beethoven’s third and seventh symphonies. Gounod’s second is very much like the first two symphonies of Beethoven. It begins with a declamatory theme that sounds heavy with portent, insistently unfolded through the first movement. The mood of the rest of the symphony might be described as “gently jaunty,” particularly the third-movement scherzo.
 
Patrick Gallois is best known as a flutist, a role he has recently filled in a number of recordings for Naxos, such as the complete flute concerti of C.P.E. Bach. However, life on the podium is not new to him; he has also conducted early Haydn symphonies, again on Naxos. Such references point out his sympathy for the classical idiom, which he brings out to good effect in Gounod’s works. The Sinfonia Finlandia Jyväskylä do not have a rich enough sound for (say) Debussy, but in these works they have admirable rhythmic snap and clarity of texture.
 
If you are willing to set aside expectations of the Romanticism of Gounod’s contemporaries and students, and enjoy his anachronistic late-Classicism, this is an admirable recording for getting to know these relatively unknown symphonies.
 
Brian Burtt
 

 

 


Advertising on
Musicweb


Donate and keep us afloat

 

New Releases

Naxos Classical
All Naxos reviews

Chandos recordings
All Chandos reviews

Hyperion recordings
All Hyperion reviews

Foghorn recordings
All Foghorn reviews

Troubadisc recordings
All Troubadisc reviews



all Bridge reviews


all cpo reviews

Divine Art recordings
Click to see New Releases
Get 10% off using code musicweb10
All Divine Art reviews

Eloquence recordings
All Eloquence reviews

Lyrita recordings
All Lyrita Reviews

 

Wyastone New Releases
Obtain 10% discount

Recordings of the Month

July 2022

John Luther Adams Houses of the Wind
John Luther Adams
Houses of the Wind

Horneman Alladin
Horneman Alladin

Stojowski piano concertos
Piano Concertos 1 & 2

Vaughan Williams on Brass


Yi Lin Jiang - Dualis I

June 2022


Beethoven Sonatas 29, 32


Orchestral Works


String Quartets Vol 1

 

 


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.