WORKS: Symphony in D minor; Les Eolides
PERFORMER: New York PO/Kurt Masur
CATALOGUE NO: 9031-74863-2 DDD
This is a well-shaped and faithful account of the Franck Symphony from Kurt Masur. At one time a familiar warhorse, it is relatively rarely heard in the concert hall these days, although there are some two dozen CDs on the market. Masur secures infinitely more cultured playing from the New York Philharmonic and a finer sonority than the coarse, brash sound they have been producing for Mehta in recent years. The dynamic markings are very faithfully observed and the general architecture of the piece is well held together. The fill-up, Les Eolides, is no less successful but hardly a generous makeweight.
Other versions give better value for money: Dutoit and the Montreal Orchestra, who are more brilliantly recorded, offer a very good account of d’Indy’s Symphonie sur un chant montagnard français. Masur’s is a rewarding, well-balanced account, though not of the stature of Monteux (also coupled with the d’Indy) or Beecham (with the Lalo G minor Symphony). Robert Layton