Bizet/Lalo: Symphony in C; Jeux d’enfants, La jolie fille de Perth Suite; Cello Concerto; Rapsodie norvégienne

Our rating 
4.0 out of 5 star rating 4.0

COMPOSERS: Bizet/Lalo
LABELS: DG Double
WORKS: Symphony in C; Jeux d’enfants, La jolie fille de Perth Suite; Cello Concerto; Rapsodie norvégienne
PERFORMER: Pierre Fournier (cello), ORTF National Orchestra, Lamoureux Orchestra/Jean Martinon
CATALOGUE NO: 437 371-2 ADD (1961-72)
Worth considering for Pierre Fournier’s aristocratic account of Lalo’s epic cello concerto; otherwise, largely forgettable. Jean Martinon’s deliciously chaste approach to Bizet’s Symphony in C, a gorgeous work, overflowing with Mediterranean brilliance, is sadly impaired by decidedly primitive engineering; the performance is admirable, nonetheless. Similar reservations apply to seldom-encountered scenes from Bizet’s opera The Fair Maid of Perth (1866), and the familiar Jeux d’enfants – genial interpretations, abounding in Gallic charm. Lalo’s oriental masterpiece Namouna (1882) and his Rapsodie norvégienne are rarities; these 1971 recordings are adequate, though Fournier’s imperious performance of the Cello Concerto will be mandatory for Francophile collectors. Michael Jameson

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