Saturday, May 20, 2017

Gabriel Pierné - Impressions de music-hall; Fantaisie basque; Izeÿl (Bramwell Tovey)


Composer: Gabriel Pierné
  • (01-05) Impressions de music-hall, ballet suite
  • (06) Fantaisie basque sur des themes populaires basques espagnols
  • (07-10) Izeÿl, suite from an Indian drama
  • (11) Divertissement sur un thème pastoral

Philippe Koch, violin (6)
Luxembourg Philharmonic Orchestra
Bramwell Tovey, conductor

Date: 2005
Label: Timpani




Gabriel Pierné was a very good composer, but this disc illustrates why he may not receive the attention he deserves on the concert platform. As you might expect, Impressions de music-hall is charming, humorous, and even sassy. Fantasie basque, for violin and orchestra, follows the pattern of Saint-Saëns' Spanish-tinged works for violin and orchestra, and it's well played by soloist Philippe Koch. Izéÿl is a suite of incidental music full of Orientalism embodied in exotic scales and prominent passages for harp and celesta. Divertissements sur un thème pastoral is absolutely delicious, a fabulously inventive theme and variations. It was recorded by Martinon for Erato.

So what's the problem? Well, there isn't one really, save that Pierné's very flexibility results in what you might call a "generic French" quality to his music. He didn't have Ravel's individuality of style, for example, but then Pierné's range of reference is, in my view, a bit wider. Even if you can't pick out a particular moment and say, "Aha! That couldn't be anyone else," the fact is that this is all very well-written music, a joy from first note to last. Bramwell Tovey and the Luxembourg orchestra turn out to be reliable guides to Pierné's multifaceted musical personality, offering performances full of color and, where necessary, panache. They are also beautifully recorded, making this an important addition to the discography of an underappreciated composer.

-- David Hurwitz, ClassicsToday

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.


Bramwell Tovey (born 11 July 1953) is a British conductor and composer. Tovey was educated at Ilford County High School, the Royal Academy of Music and the University of London. He was music director of the Luxembourg Philharmonic Orchestra from 2002 to 2006 and conducted them in the world premiere of Penderecki's 8th Symphony in 2005. He has been music director of the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra since 2000 and scheduled to take the title of VSO music director emeritus with the 2018-2019 season, the VSO's 100th season.


FLAC, tracks
Links in comment


  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. Copy Adfly ( or LinkShrink ( to your browser's address bar, wait 5 seconds, then click on 'Skip [This] Ad' (or 'Continue') (yellow button, top right).
    If Adfly or LinkShrink ask you to download anything, IGNORE them, only download from file hosting site (
    If you encounter 'Bandwidth Limit Exceeded' problem, try to create a free account on MEGA.