Saturday, May 20, 2017

Gabriel Pierné - Cydalise et le chèvre-pied (David Shallon)


Composer: Gabriel Pierné
  • (01-09) Cydalise et le chèvre-pied, ballet, Acte I - 1er Tableau
  • (10-12) Cydalise et le chèvre-pied, ballet, Acte II - 2ème Tableau
  • (13-19) Cydalise et le chèvre-pied, ballet, Ballet de "La Sultane des Indes"
  • (20-24) Cydalise et le chèvre-pied, ballet, Acte II - 3ème Tableau

Orchestre Philharmonique du Luxembourg
David Shallon, conductor

Date: 2000
Label: Timpani



In 1922 lovers of traditional French ballet had weathered a particularly protracted season of the Ballets Russes at the Opera, including the premieres of Renard and Mavra. So Pierne’s resurrection of things French the following year was greeted in more conservative quarters with sighs of relief as being ‘simply served with a pinch of Gallic salt and white wine’.

Pierne’s score, though, is a good deal more than a blatant nostalgia trip. True, there is the occasional echo of Daphnis and perhaps, faced with the word stupeur in the scenario, Pierne reaches rather too readily for the whole-tone chord. But he handles the orchestra with all the deftness and resource of the experienced conductor he was.

The story, setting the natural world of nymphs and satyrs against the ‘unnatural’ one of court life, gives him plenty of scope for atmospheric strings and pastoral woodwind on the one hand, and pseudo 18th-century pomposity on the other. At first hearing, I thought his tunes were rather unmemorable; but, second time round, they began to take on greater character, and the end of Act 2 is unmistakably stirring.

The disc stands, alas, as a last tribute to the talent of David Shallon, who died last September shortly after making this recording. On this showing, his death is a great loss. Throughout, phrases are beautifully shaped, textures carefully balanced, and I’m sure he did all that was possible with the patently non-professional choir who, happily, only have to go ‘aah’ every now and then.
Altogether a recommendable disc, which I shall certainly play a third time and beyond

-- Gramophone

More reviews:


Gabriel Pierné (16 August 1863 – 17 July 1937) was a French composer, conductor, and organist. He succeeded César Franck as organist at Saint Clotilde Basilica in Paris from 1890 to 1898. As a conductor, he conducted the world premiere of Igor Stravinsky's ballet The Firebird, at the Ballets Russes, Paris, on 25 June 1910. Pierné wrote several operas and choral and symphonic pieces, as well as a good deal of chamber music. His discovery and promotion of the work of Ernest Fanelli in 1912 led to a controversy over the origins of impressionist music.


David Shallon (October 15, 1950 in Tel Aviv, Israel - September 16, 2000 in Tokyo, Japan) was an Israeli conductor. He studied violin, viola, horn, composition and conducting with Noam Sheriff. He completed his conducting studies with Hans Swarowsky (1973-1975) and worked as an assistant to Leonard Bernstein (1974-1979). David Shallon went on to make appearances as a guest conductor with major European orchestras and opera houses. He took office as head of the Luxembourg Philharmonic Orchestra in September 1997. His last recordings were made with his wife Tabea Zimmermann, the famous young violist.


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  2. Muchas gracias por todas estas rarezas musicales.

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