Gustave Charpentier: Music For The Prix De Rome

Album cover art for upc 8424562022119
Label: Glossa
Catalog: GCD922211
Format: CD

Soloists & Flemish Radio Choir; Brussels Philharmonic; Hervé Niquet (direction)

Gustave Charpentier (1860-1956)
CD 1
Impressions d'Italie (1889) Symphonie pittoresque
Didon (1887) / Cantate pour soprano, ténor, baryton et orchestre
CD 2
La Vie du poète (1888) Symphonie-drame en 3 actes et 4 tableaux / La Fête des myrtes (1887) Choeur avec orchestre

To follow his illuminating recordings of music by Claude Debussy (GCD 922206) and Camille Saint-Saëns (GCD 922210) with the Brussels Philharmonic, Hervé Niquet is now turning his away from the Baroque to the dramatic realism of the end of the 19th century.
Gustave Charpentier has, rather unfairly, become known for being the composer of only the one work, that operatic reflection of Zolaesque naturalism, Louise, first performed in 1900. Are people aware that this opera had been composed (at least in part) on one of the seven Roman hills, more than ten years earlier? And that Italian period in Charpentier's life (1888-1890) had actually turned out to be his most fruitful creative time? It was there in Rome that he worked on two masterly symphonic works, the one elaborating his Impressions d'Italie which was to enjoy significant success right up until the Second World War, whilst the other - more experimental - called for three soloists, a chorus and a large symphonic orchestra: La Vie du poète. It was thanks to the quality of his chorus La Fête des myrtes and his magnificent Wagnerian cantata Didon that the composer won, in 1887, the famous Prix de Rome, opening the way for him to have a Bohemian séjour in the Villa Medici.
This third release in the Prix de Rome series by Glossa (in conjunction with the Palazzetto Bru Zane) is set to demonstrate a composer whose range of talents far extends beyond the - admittedly enchanting - aria Depuis le jour...

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