MusicWeb International One of the most grown-up review sites around

  2022
 57,903 reviews
   and more ... and still writing ...

Search MusicWeb Here
Acte Prealable Polish CDs

Presto Music CD retailer
 
Founder: Len Mullenger                                    Editor in Chief:John Quinn             

Some items
to consider

 

paid for
advertisements

Acte Prealable Polish recordings

Forgotten Recordings
Forgotten Recordings
All Forgotten Records Reviews


TROUBADISC
Troubadisc Weinberg- TROCD01450

100th birthday of Mieczyslaw Weinberg on December 8, 2019.
Renate Eggbrecht has recorded all 3 violin Sonatas
All Troubadisc reviews


FOGHORN Classics

Alexandra-Quartet
Brahms String Quartets

All Foghorn Reviews


All HDTT reviews


Clarissa Bevilacqua plays
Augusta Read Thomas

all Nimbus reviews

Brahms Dvorak
Brahms 2 Dvorak 7
all tudor reviews

 

 


Follow us on Twitter

Subscribe to our free weekly review listing
sample

Sample: See what you will get

Editorial Board
MusicWeb International
Founding Editor
   
Rob Barnett
Editor in Chief
John Quinn
Contributing Editor
Ralph Moore
Webmaster
   David Barker
Postmaster
Jonathan Woolf
MusicWeb Founder
   Len Mullenger

 

Discs for review may be sent to:
Jonathan Woolf
76 Lushes Road
Loughton
Essex IG10 3QB
United Kingdom

jonathan_woolf@yahoo.co.uk


 

REVIEW
Plain text for smartphones & printers


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 cpo reviews

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


All APR reviews

Lyrita recordings
All Lyrita Reviews

 

Wyastone New Releases
Obtain 10% discount

Recordings of the Month

November 2022
Bach
Bach Orchestral Suites

del Cinque
Del Cinque Cello sonatas

Fujita Mozart
Mao Fujita Mozart

Stanczyk
Stanczyk Acousmatic Music

Oropesa

October 2022

Berg Violin Concerto
Violin Concerto Elmes

DEbussy Jeux
Debussy Jeux

Romantic pioano masters
Romantic Piano Masters

The future is female - Vol 2
Volume 2 - The Dance

impromptu harp music
Complete Harp Impromptus

 

Support us financially by purchasing this disc from
Paul DUKAS (1865-1935)
The Sorcerer’s Apprentice (1897) [11:17]
Velléda: cantata (1888) [30:18]
Polyeucte; overture (1891) [14:40]
Chantal Santon (soprano): Julien Dran (tenor); Jean-Manuel Candenot (bass-baritone)
Les Siècles/François-Xavier Roth
rec. April 2011, live, Scuola Grande di San Rocco, Venice; May 2012, live, l’abbaye de l’Épau (Polyeucte)
MUSICALES ACTES SUD ASM12 [55:54]

François-Xavier Roth and his period instrument orchestra Les Siècles continue their joint enterprise in exploring repertoire of the early-twentieth and – as here – the late-nineteenth centuries. The focus is exclusively on Dukas and it serves the valuable purpose of exploring repertoire that will be all but unknown except to the most dedicated student of the composer’s works.

That doesn’t apply to The Sorcerer’s Apprentice; the one work that will guarantee aural titillation and excitement, or should in a good performance. This is more than good – it’s excellent. Rhythms bite, the music is richly characterised, and the sonorities of the period instruments - especially the winds – vests an individual patina. When the low winds get chattery and sepulchral, you’re grateful to both band and conductor for exploring these colours in this way. Something definably individual emerges, even in so well-known a work as this.

Inventive and colourful though this is, it’s not enough to build a programme on The Sorcerer’s Apprentice alone. The companion works are the thing that will tip the balance, and for that to happen it will depend very much on your levels of inquisitiveness into the earlier part of Dukas’ work-list. This principally relates to the cantata for soprano, tenor and bass, to a text by Fernand Beissier, called Velléda. It was composed for the 1888 Prix de Rome, a competition Dukas failed to win, and it attests to his preoccupation with form and orchestration at the time. Whilst the programme notes gently allude to some infelicities in the score, we can agree that it’s a manifestly interesting and engaging piece of writing. The five-minute Prelude has many a deft moment, with some gorgeous lines for the flute, chromatic string writing - shades of Wagner, obviously, from time to time - and an unfolding sense that we are listening to a tone poem evolving. The woody flute tone is especially beguiling in this context. The exchanges between the singers are splendid and tenor Julien Dran emerges as the star of the show – he has a real French sound, focused and forward, and capable of lyric legato, even negotiating the quasi-operatic arias with aplomb. He’s a stylish artist. Soprano Chantal Santon is another committed singer, but her vibrato is wider and is less centre-of-the-note and thus their exchanges are not ideally balanced. The smallest of the roles is taken by the bass-baritone Jean-Manuel Candenot whose diction is conspicuously good. This early cantata is well worth hearing.

To finish there’s an overture; Polyeucte, composed in 1891. This is an extensive piece, at nearly fifteen minutes, but it gives Dukas plenty of time to vest in it powerful drama supported by felicitous orchestral colour. It’s a species of Lisztian tone poem, Dukas having built on the experience of the Prelude of Velléda and other intervening works. There’s a strong melancholic string cantilena and excellent brass writing. Here’s another Dukas work too long on the back-burner.

All three are richly brought to life by Roth and his forces. All come from live concerts, at two venues. Here’s another excellently performed and recorded Roth-directed disc.

Jonathan Woolf