Bizet: Symphony in C; L’arlesienne Suite No. 1; L’arlesienne Suite No. 2

COMPOSERS: Bizet
LABELS: EMI
WORKS: Symphony in C; L’arlesienne Suite No. 1; L’arlesienne Suite No. 2
PERFORMER: Academy of St Martin in the Fields/Neville Marriner
CATALOGUE NO: CDC 5 55118 2 DDD
Bizet’s Symphony, composed in his teens, is a charming work in Schubertian vein, with zestful allegros and some lovely singing slow passages. This is a beautifully judged reading. The oboe-led Adagio could easily be a ballet pos-de-deux, while the more ‘rural’ sections of the two L ‘arle”sienne suites complement the trio’s ‘peasant’ feel. All the works are available in alternative couplings elsewhere (including Marriner on Decca). But the pairing here works ideally. The sound is slighdy better with bass enhanced. Roderic Dunnett

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