Monday, June 5, 2017

Georges Bizet - Orchestral Works (Michel Plasson)


Composer: Georges Bizet

  • (01-04) Symphony in C major
  • (05-08) Roma
  • (09) Patrie, ouverture dramatique, Op. 19
  • (01-11) L'Arlésienne, incidental music, Op. 23
  • (01-04) Carmen, Suite No. 1
  • (05-09) L'Arlésienne, Suite No. 1
  • (10-14) Jeux d'enfants, petite suite, Op. 22
  • (15) Les quatre coins
  • (16) Overture in A major
  • (17) Marche funèbre

Orfeón Donostiarra, chorus master Antxon Ayestarán
Jacques Noureddine, saxophone
Orchestre National du Capitole de Toulouse
Michel Plasson, conductor

Date: 1986, 1990, 1993
Compilation: 2008
Label: EMI



This disc includes every orchestral work of Bizet you'll ever need in performances, led by Michel Plasson, that may never be bettered. In other words, this is mandatory listening for any fan of the composer. It contains the supremely well-known Carmen and L'Arlésienne Suites, as well as the less well known Jeux d'enfants and Symphony in C, the hardly known Roma Suite, Overture in A minor, Overture Patrie, Marche funèbre, and Les Quatre Coins, plus the rarely played complete L'Arlésienne Incidental Music. Plasson maintains a consistent level of excellence in his performances, regardless of how popular or obscure the work. While some listeners may already have their favorite recordings of the Carmen Suite or the symphony, Plasson and the Toulouse musicians' robust but subtle performances are likely to be just as appealing. And because the conducting is as capable, the playing as persuasive, and the performances as committed, works like Roma and the Patrie Overture sound far more convincing than one would have imagined possible given their youthful origins. Recorded between 1985 and 1993, EMI's digital sound here is rich, deep, warm, and very attractive. Anyone interested in the music of the great French composer should by all means hear these discs.

-- James Leonard, AllMusic


Georges Bizet (25 October 1838 – 3 June 1875) was a French composer of the romantic era. Best known for his operas in a career cut short by his early death. After his death, his work, apart from Carmen, was generally neglected. Carmen, his final work, has become one of the most popular and frequently performed in the entire opera repertoire. After years of neglect, his works began to be performed more frequently in the 20th century. Later commentators have acclaimed him as a composer of brilliance and originality whose premature death was a significant loss to French musical theatre.


Michel Plasson (born 2 October 1933 in Paris, France) is a French conductor. He was a student of Lazare Lévy at the Conservatoire de Paris. In 1968, Plasson became principal conductor of the Orchestre et Chœurs du Capitole de Toulouse. resigned as principal conductor in 2003 and now has the title of "Honorary Conductor", or conductor emeritus. From 1994 to 2001, he was principal conductor of the Dresden Philharmonic. Plasson's recordings were mainly made for EMI/Virgin, and focused upon works by French composers.


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  2. Many thanks for this excellent collection!