WORKS: La mer; Symphony No. 4; Sinfonietta; Suite Provençale
PERFORMER: Detroit Symphony Orchestra/Neeme Jarvi
CATALOGUE NO: CHAN 9072 DDD
Milhaud’s Suite Provençale consists of eight varied and colourful orchestral arrangements of pieces by the 18th-century composer André Campra. Strings, woodwind and percussion each get opportunities to shine, and Jarvi manages unerringly to capture the mood of each movement.
His reading of Debussy’s La mer also reveals the Detroit Symphony Orchestra as a finely tuned body of players. There is exquisite blending of colours between strings and woodwind, and the big moments display American brass playing at its sonorously disciplined best.
Roussel’s Fourth Symphony is handled with energetic discipline, but the Sinfonietta’s outlines are blurred by an over-sumptuous tone and a lack of definition in tempo changes. The recording quality is clear though a shade dry. John White