MAURICE EMMANUEL (1862-1938): Ouverture pour un conte gai, Op. 3, Suite française, Op. 26, Symphony No. 1 in A, Op. 18, Symphony No. 2 in A, Op. 25 "Bretonne".
Catalogue Number: 12N004
Description: The two symphonies were recorded by Marco Polo and issued in 1993 now long out-of-print. Although they seem to have early opus numbers, these were applied after Emmanuel destroyed over 70 compositions so No. 1 is the work of a 57-year-old. Its three movements ("serenity and youthful elation"; "melancholy. Memories. Anguish" are the composer's notes heading the first two movements while the latter is a military march leading to the catastrophe); and are seen through the eyes of a young pilot who died during the war. Only 21 minutes long, it has a glowing, Impressionistic and always transparent orchestration. No. 2 (1930-31) was inspired by the Breton legend of Ys and makes use of a Breton lament noted by the composer on site. The world premiere recordings are the five-minute Ouverture of 1881 which seems to anticipate the mid-20th century genre of the English "Comedy Overture" and the 15-minute Suite which is an orchestration of Emmanuel's piano Sonatina No. 5, a dance suite "in the old style" - another gift to lovers of bright, clear echt-Gallic orchestration. Slovene Philharmonic Orchestra; Emmanuel Villaume.