Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
|Ernest Chausson, Jacques Ibert, Eduardo Mata|
Chausson: Symphony in B-Flat, Op. 20, Ibert: Escales; Divertissement No1-6
Ibert's sunny musical travelogue receives one of its finest performances on this sparklingly played and flawlessly recorded disc. Eduardo Mata always had a special affinity for French music, and this performance is one o... more »
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Ibert's sunny musical travelogue receives one of its finest performances on this sparklingly played and flawlessly recorded disc. Eduardo Mata always had a special affinity for French music, and this performance is one of his very best. The wacky Divertissement derives from stage music, and it includes some very funny references to Mendelssohn's Wedding March and what sounds a lot like a football fight song (complete with referee whistles). Chausson's only Symphony is another matter entirely, the logical successor to Franck's famously serious Symphony in D minor. It's a measure of Mata's range as a conductor that he does so well with music of such differing character. --David Hurwitz
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Worthy package of French titles
Larry VanDeSande | Mason, Michigan United States | 07/18/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I bought this to broaden my experience with the late Eduardo Mata (born September 5, 1942; died January 4, 1995) who made something of himself in music like this. My first exposure to Mata and his Dallas Symphony Orchestra was in Prokofiev's "Love for Three Oranges" and "Lt. Kije" suites on an RCA CD no longer available.
That CD was the best recording I've ever heard of "Lt. Kije", surpassing big name conductors including Szell, Abbado and Ormandy. Mata's heart on sleeve out front approach worked well in those 20th century masterworks. I wondered how he would do in French music of a similar era.
This was my first exposure to the Chausson Symphony in B flat, making comparison impossible. The symphony is clearly a follower of the Franck D Minor Symphony, employing a notable passage in its second movement (Tres lent; Un eu plus vite) borrowed from the theme that closes the Franck first movement. Like the Franck symphony, this one is also cyclical, closing on its opening theme.
The symphony is optimistic in its opening movement and shows passion in rising chords in it second movement, closing with drama and still more passion. I wasn't quite expecting this from a symphony published in 1890, which makes it parallel to Bruckner and Mahler. Mata and his Dallas forces do well with the high passion in the music and play with much vitruosity.
In "Escales" Mata goes into compettion with the recording industry's greatest French conductors. His approach includes Mediterranean swagger, concert music and mysticism. The timpani play a major role in the larger moments, especially during the Palermo and Valencia sequences. His emphatic lower strings against the clarinet theme in Valenica is another memorable moment in a successful musical venture, although I thought the woodwinds were not nearly prominent enough in the Valencia section.
Ibert's "Divertissement" is incidental music originally meant to accompany a 1929 play. Its value in today's musical marketplace is similar to Strauss's "Le Bourgeois Gentilhomme", in my opinion. The score reminded me somewhat of the Strauss score on first hearing. It also sounds a bit like Poulenc in some spots, like music accompanying TV or movies in others, and ends in a fine French finale.
The playing on this CD is fine with virtuosity throughout. The Dallas Symphony under Mata reminds me of the Cincinnati Symphony under Lopez-Cobos. The notes to this CD are outstanding, with plenty of information on the composer and his music and pages of information on both the Dalls Symphony and Eduardo Mata.
While the playing time of less than 62 minutes in not optimum on a full price CD, you won't go far wrong otherwise by investing in this collection of French music conducted by a hot blooded Mexican."