Franck: Le chasseur maudit; Les éolides; Les djinns

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WORKS: Le chasseur maudit; Les éolides; Les djinns
PERFORMER: Aldo Ciccolini (piano); Belgian National Orchestra/ André Cluytens
CATALOGUE NO: CDM 5 65153 2 ADD (1962)
These four symphonic poems were recorded (in thickset if punchy sound) in 1962, with a heavily French-accented orchestra. The brass have a field day in The Accursed Huntsman, with its Hammer horroics and sub-Wagnerian ideas. Les éolides, too, borrows from Tristan for a subtly erotic evocation of the daughters of the wind-god, while Les djinns, which ostensibly conjures up the magical spirits of Islamic demonology, turns out to be an overheated genre piece, into which a solo piano part intrudes. Bottom of the barrel is the symphonic interlude from the oratorio Rédemption, whose meandering chromaticism and pretentious horn calls are deeply unattractive. George Hall