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The Music of Lucien Cailliet - Volume 2
Transcriber, Arranger, Composer
rec. 1935-54

The second volume in Pristine’s trawl through the recorded legacy of multi-talented Lucien Cailliet – aptly summarised as transcriber, arranger and composer – adds a previously unissued broadcast recording and three items that were not issued on 78rpm at the time. This neat cache of rare material joins a selection that majors heavily on the Baroque and includes a very light-hearted Cailliet original composition.

Given his status as clarinetist in Stokowski’s Philadelphia Orchestra, and the nature of his transcriptions for the conductor, one should expect a portfolio of Bach hyphenations. The Toccata and Fugue in D minor is boldly and confidently handled and opens the disc in something of a blaze of sonic grandeur rather different from Stokowski’s own conception. Only the somewhat mushy ensemble of Werner Janssen’s eponymous orchestra detracts from the excellence. In the case of the Victor Symphony Orchestra – which is really the Philadelphia in disguise – luxurious portamenti garnish the famous Air under Charles O’Connell and from then on, until almost the end of the disc, it’s Ormandy in charge. His quietly grave performance of the organ prelude Herzlich tut mich verlangen was an unissued 78 from his Minneapolis Symphony days.

The thoughtful wind writing in the Prelude and Fugue in B minor ushers in the Philadelphia once again – strange that this too was never released on 78 – and the Buxtehude-Cailliet Passacaglia, which comes from a radio broadcast and has a little overload, offers renewed tensile drama. Vivaldi’s Concerto for two violins, Op.3 No.8 might also be recalled from Isidore Philipp’s memorable solo piano arrangement but here it’s expanded for full orchestra, a strong but not beefy arrangement that respects the deftly textured central movement and unleashes a galvanizing finale. Meat and drink to the Philadelphians, of course.

Moving away from the Baroque, there’s a lovely arrangement of Clair de lune (Ormandy’s first of three recordings), fresh and verdant, and three Rachmaninov Preludes to get one’s teeth into. The Prelude in C sharp minor is painted in bold primary colours, as was Henry Wood’s own arrangement, but the G major, Op.32 No.5 has a more Barcarolle-like feel and Op.23 No.5 allows one to hear some of the orchestra’s instrumentalists in their solo opportunities as well as the galvanising sweep of the whole ensemble.

To end, Arthur Fiedler and his Boston ‘Pops’ take over for a brace – a resplendent if sugary None but the lonely heart and Cailliet’s own The Birthday Fantasy, a larky confection replete with mocking brass and clarinets.

It ends this well-transferred disc on a decidedly witty note.

Jonathan Woolf

1. BACH-CAILLIET: Toccata and Fugue in D minor, BWV 565 (9:06)
Recorded in 1946 in Los Angeles
Matrix nos.: WJ-1001, WJ-1002-1-RE (Artist Records AR-1001/2)
2. BACH-CAILLIET: Air from Suite No. 3 in D major, BWV 1068 (3:47)
Recorded 5 May 1939 in the Academy of Music, Philadelphia
Matrix no.: CS 035849-1 (Victor 36233)
3. BACH-CAILLIET: Organ Prelude, “Herzlich tut mich verlangen”, BWV 727 (2:47)
Recorded 8 January 1935 in the Northrop Auditorium, Minneapolis
Matrix no.: BVE 87510 (Unissued on 78 rpm)
4. BACH-CAILLIET: Prelude and Fugue in B minor, BWV 544 (8:46)
Recorded 9 May 1938 in the Academy of Music, Philadelphia
Matrix nos.: CS 022374/5 (Unissued on 78 rpm)
5. BUXTEHUDE-CAILLIET: Passacaglia in D minor, BuxWV 161 (6:54)
From the NBC broadcast of 28 March 1937 from the Academy of Music, Philadelphia (Previously unissued)
VIVALDI-CAILLIET: Concerto for Two Violins in A minor, Op. 3, No. 8 (from L’estro armonico)
6. Allegro (4:28)
7. Larghetto e spiritoso (5:38)
8. Allegro (4:25)
Recorded 8 January 1939 in the Academy of Music, Philadelphia
Matrix nos.: CS 030905/8 (Unissued on 78 rpm)
9. DEBUSSY-CAILLIET: Clair de lune (from Suite bergamasque) (4:17)
Recorded 19 December 1954 in the Academy of Music (Columbia ML-4983)
10. Prelude in C sharp minor, Op. 3, No. 2 (4:53)
11. Prelude in G major, Op. 32, No. 5 (3:25)
12. Prelude in G minor, Op. 23, No. 5 (3:43)
Recorded 2 April 1950 in the Academy of Music, Philadelphia (Columbia ML-2158)
13. TCHAIKOVSKY-CAILLIET: None but the lonely heart, Op. 6, No. 6 (3:33)
Recorded 18 June 1949 in Symphony Hall, Boston (RCA Victor LM-1790)
14. CAILLIET: The Birthday Fantasy (3:30)
Recorded 28 June 1952 in Symphony Hall, Boston (RCA Victor LM-1790)
Janssen Symphony of Los Angeles/Werner Janssen (Track 1)
Victor Symphony Orchestra/ Charles O’Connell (Track 2)
Minneapolis Symphony Orchestra/ Eugene Ormandy (Track 3)
The Philadelphia Orchestra/Eugene Ormandy (Tracks 4 – 12)
Boston “Pops” Orchestra/Arthur Fiedler (Tracks 13 – 14)



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