Donald Macleod traces Chabrier's roots from a childhood in provincial Auvergne to the salons of Paris, where he charmed all the day's leading artists and had success with L'etoile.
Donald Macleod explores the engaging personality and music of Emmanuel Chabrier, a man whose reputation has come to rest on a handful of hits, yet whose originality is acknowledged by some of the leading voices of French music in the twentieth century, among them Debussy and Ravel.
Chabrier must surely be one of the most likeable fellows to have graced this earth. It seems no-one had a bad word to say about him. His wide circle of friends included all the leading musicians, writers, poets and painters of the day. Chabrier owned a remarkable collection of impressionist paintings including several by Manet, who produced the best known portrait of the composer.
Emmanuel Chabrier's life slots into a fascinating point in French musical history. When he was born in 1841, Berlioz was already thirty-eight and famous, Saint-Saëns was six, while the rising stars of the future, Massenet and Fauré, were not yet born. Despite Wagner's dominance, and indeed Chabrier's own reverence for the German composer, Chabrier's music retains a staunchly Gallic individuality, with critics subsequently paying tribute to him as a "direct forerunner of the modern school." The reason for this may well relate, at least in part, to his studies. Chabrier was largely self-taught, and although he was better educated than most musical amateurs, he never followed the accepted route into the Paris Conservatoire or a similar institute. He trained first in law, only taking up full time composition in his thirties.
In the first of the series, Donald Macleod traces Chabrier's roots from a childhood spent in provincial Auvergne to the salons of Paris, where his engaging personality charmed all the leading artists of the day, eventually leading to success with a sparkling confection for stage, l'Étoile.
Orchestre Philharmonique de Monte-Carlo
Hervé Niquet, conductor
Duo de la chartreuse vert (Act 3, l'Étoile)
Georges Gautier, tenor, Le roi Ouf
Gabriel Bacquier, bass, Siroco
Lyons Opera Orchestra
John Eliot Gardiner, conductor
Allan Schiller, piano
L'éducation manquée (excerpt)
Jean-Louis Georgel, baritone, Pausanias
Mireille Delunsch, soprano, Gontran
Brigitte Desnoues, soprano, Hélène
Orchestra du Collegium Musicum de Strasbourg
Roger Delage, director
Larghetto for horn & orchestra
Pierre Del Vescovo, horn
Capitole Toulouse Orchestra
Michel Plasson, conductor
L'Étoile (Act 1, excerpt)
O petite étoile.....Je suis Lazuli!
Colette Alliot-Lugaz, soprano, Lazuli,
Magali Damonte, mezzo, Aloès
Ghislaine Raphanel, soprano, La Princesse Laoula
Lyons Opera Orchestra
John Eliot Gardiner, conductor.
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