When we consider the intrinsic bond between theatre and music, though opera and ballet are what immediately come to mind, there is yet another art form that embodies this association, and which especially in the 19th century enjoyed great popularity: incidental music. In a period in which all theatres had either a pianist or a smaller or larger orchestra in their employ, stage plays were generally accompanied by music – much like in today’s films. And just as a substantial part of the drama in opera unfolds in the orchestra pit, the music employed in the theatre likewise provided an additional layer of meaning, rather than mere depictions of mood. Both the overture and the entr’actes (music played between acts) had the role of preparing the audience for what was to take place on stage.
Total time: 01:09:49
|Original Recording Format|
Victoria Hall, Geneve Switzerland
|Recording Type & Bit Rate||
|Release Date||August 7, 2015|
Classical CD Review
“The young Japanese conductor Kazuki Yamada has created quite a stir in the conducting world. Principal guest conductor of the Suisse Romande Orchestra, he also holds that position with the Japan Philharmonic. Here we have the first of three recordings for Pentatone of “dance” music, and it is a winner. These are vigorous performances of these familiar works, and the Swiss orchestra is in top form. In addition, we have Pentatone’s superb engineering which, if not particularly “surround,” is full-bodied and resonant. I look forward to future releases in this series.”
The Suisse Romande Orchestra, familiar to most record collectors, has a long-standing reputation for its performances of French music.
Kazuki Yamada, who began as a choral director, may be a new conductor to many but he is very talented and brings these scores to life. Yamada may not be the greatest specialist in the French orchestral repertory, but this is a most praiseworthy album, and in demonstration-quality hi-res surround.
Yamada displays an interpretative nous, strength of personality and scrupulous attention to detail that are singularly impressive, and he draws some (for the most part) winningly alert and tastefully refined playing from the OSR (whose principal flute and harp cover themselves in glory).
L’Arlésienne Suites on Pentatone by James Manheim, All Music “All the music is familiar, some of it very much so. And yet there is always room for a conductor and musicians who approach it with verve and cause listeners to remember what they liked so much about it in the first place. So it is with this performance of Bizet, Fauré, and Gounod by fast-rising conductor Kazuki Yamada and the venerable Orchestre de la Suisse Romande. Yamada gets sparkle and elegance out of them at every turn. The highlight is the suite Masques et Bergamasques, Op. 112, of Fauré, the very epitome of French grace in its four compact, old-style dances, each the distillation of a long French musical heritage. The smoothness and assured quality of Yamada’s readings here are remarkable in such a new face on the scene. In the brash, tuneful L’Arlésienne suites of Bizet and the weightier ballet pieces from Gounod’s Faust, he is no less assured, and the entire program is tied together by its links to classical ballet, a world that one hopes, based on this release, that Yamada will enter. A light-footed, transcendent joy, rendered in perfect Super Audio sound by the audiophile PentaTone label, working on the orchestra’s home ground of Geneva’s Victoria Hall.”
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