Background Image Background Image Background Image
background image

CHAN 10315
Star    2 Ratings
Log in to review this disc
Background Image Background Image Background Image
background image
Chandos Logo
CHAN 10315
Dances of Life and Death

Alain/ Duruflé: Dances of Life and Death

The Classical Shop
release date: March 2005

Originally recorded in 2004

Artists:

William Whitehead

organ

Venue:

Saint Etienne Cathedral, Auxerre, France



Producer:

Sean Farrell



Engineer:

Richard Clover



Record Label
Chandos

Genre:

Organ




Total Time - 73:11
Background Image Background Image Background Image
background image
Customers who bought this album, also bought...
CHAN%2010553.jpeg
Beethoven: Complete String Quartets
CO%206082.jpeg
Buxtehude: Membra Jesu Nostri
CHSA%205056.jpeg
French Organ Works
HL%207528.jpeg
English Spring - Sir Mark Elder
C1%200460.jpeg
Organ Recital: Metzger, Heribert / Zukriegel, Gerhard - BUXTEHUDE, D. / BRUNA, P. / PIAZZA, G. / MUFFAT, G. / HAYDN, M. / EBERLIN, J.E.
CHAN%2010464.jpeg
d'Indy : Orchestral Works, Volume 1
CO%206097.jpeg
The Earth Resounds
WH%200045.jpeg
Beethoven: Violin Sonatas - Volume 3
CHAN%2010547.jpeg
Martinu: Cello Concertos Nos 1 and 2/ Concertino
NA%204288.jpeg
BEETHOVEN: Triple Concerto, Op. 56 / Piano Concerto in D Major, Op. 61a

Scroll Scroll

background image
SELECT YOUR MUSIC FORMAT FROM THE OPTIONS BELOW*
mp3question marklosslessoff  
*when you purchase a lossless format, we include the MP3 free of charge
Please Note: On Mp3 format an unavoidable click may be heard on segue track breaks, to avoid this issue please select lossless
 
DOWNLOADS
Buttonbooklet

Dances of Life and Death

 

JEHAN ALAIN

(1911-1940)
Select Complete Single Disc for
 

Trois Danses (1937-40)

23:34  
1 Joies - 7:02
2 Deuils 12:02
3 Luttes 4:29
   
4 

Aria (1938)

8:07
   
 

Deux Danses à Agni Yavishta (1932-34)

4:41  
5 Allegro - 1:07
6 Pas vite 3:33
   
7 

Variations sur l'hymne 'Lucis Creator' (1932)

4:46
   
 

MAURICE DURUFLE

(1902-1986)
8 

Danse lente (1932)

8:50
  From Trois Danses, Op. 6  
  Transcribed by William Whitehead  
 

JEHAN ALAIN

9 

Litanies (1937)

4:34
   
10 

Le Jardin suspendu (1934)

6:17
   
 

MAURICE DURUFLE

 

Prélude et Fugue sur le nom D'Alain, Op. 7 (1942)

12:25  
11 Prélude 6:49
12 Fugue 5:35
This recording was inspired directly by the remarkable Oberthür organ in Auxerre Cathedral. Built in 1986, it falls midway between the French classical and Romantic traditions, and renders homage to the music of Maurice Duruflé, so beloved of its builder, Dominique Oberthür. The grandeur of the acoustic and the visceral excitement of the battery of chamade reeds suggested immediately to me a recording of the Trois Danses of Jehan Alain, allowing them a spacious rhetoric which has not always been heard before.
William Whitehead, 2005

Organist William Whitehead has gained a reputation for his engaging and inspiring interpretation of the organ repertoire. He has held a number of prestigious organists’ appointments in the UK and is currently
Director of St Mary’s Church in Bourne Street, London and a council member of the Royal College of Organists. William Whitehead makes his debut on the Chandos label with this recording.

The disc contains a transcription for organ of Duruflé’s orchestral piece Danse lente, the first ever such transcription, for which the Duruflé Association has granted William Whitehead sole performance rights.


"For Jehan Alain, the dance was a medium through which his musical genius expressed itself powerfully and expressively. His Trois Dances (1940) are perhaps his masterpiece, and embody his essential narrative of the dance: life and death, movement and stasis, joy and suffering. Started in 1937, the Dances were completed just before the composer’s untimely death in 1940, lending the music an eerily premonitory character. "

This recording was inspired directly by the remarkable Oberthür organ in Auxerre Cathedral. Built in 1986, it falls midway between the French classical and Romantic traditions, and renders homage to the music of Maurice Duruflé, so beloved of its builder, Dominique Oberthür. The grandeur of the acoustic and the visceral excitement of the battery of chamade reeds suggested immediately to me a recording of the Trois Danses of Jehan Alain, allowing them a spacious rhetoric which has not always been heard before.
William Whitehead, 2005

Organist William Whitehead has gained a reputation for his engaging and inspiring interpretation of the organ repertoire. He has held a number of prestigious organists’ appointments in the UK and is currently
Director of St Mary’s Church in Bourne Street, London and a council member of the Royal College of Organists. William Whitehead makes his debut on the Chandos label with this recording.

The disc contains a transcription for organ of Duruflé’s orchestral piece Danse lente, the first ever such transcription, for which the Duruflé Association has granted William Whitehead sole performance rights.


For Jehan Alain, the dance was a medium through which his musical genius expressed itself powerfully and expressively. His Trois Dances (1940) are perhaps his masterpiece, and embody his essential narrative of the dance: life and death, movement and stasis, joy and suffering. Started in 1937, the Dances were completed just before the composer’s untimely death in 1940, lending the music an eerily premonitory character. Le Jardin suspendu (1934) is a subtle and mystical Chaconne in which Alain creates an impressionistic soundworld redolent of the East. The plainsong theme of Lucis Creator (1932) is presented on a four foot reed in the pedal, while the manuals carry majestic chords above. Eventually, the theme is presented in a fugal working which builds to a climax with the theme triumphantly stated in the pedals. Like a whirlwind of motor energy, Litanies (1937) is perhaps Alain’s most celebrated piece. The theme is drawn from the Easter liturgy, and if it is not a comfortable piece, itis nevertheless a gripping ride through to the final chord. Aria (1938) is a beautifully lyrical piece, which requires great technical skill. It is inexplicably neglected by organists. Deux Danses à Agni Yavishta (1932–34) comprises two miniature dances dedicated to Agni, the Sanskrit God of Fire. ‘Yavishta’ means ‘the very young’ and something of this youthful vigour is in evidence in the insistent ostinato of the first dance. The Danse lent of Maurice Duruflé is the middle movement of his Trois Danses, Op. 6. Written in 1932, the dances are for large orchestra in the manner of Debussy, including extended percussion section and saxophone. The Prélude et Fugue sur le nom D’Alain needs no introduction. Beloved of organists around the world, it is one of the twentieth century’s great interpretations of the Prelude/Fugue combination.

This is one of the most attractive organ discs that I have come across in the recent past. The whole programme is extremely intelligently devised and presented… The booklet notes are informative and well written… Amusing, too, are Alain’s cartoons, which are dotted around the booklet. But what appeals most are the performances and the recording. Whitehead has an instinctive feel for this repertoire and a technique to match. The crisp voicing and attack of the splendid organ is Auxerre Cathedral is likewise more than equalled by the sophistication of the recording.
International Record Review

The engineering is excellent; a wonderfully resonant space… England seems to have a knack of developing young organists who become quickly proficient in the French literature. I hope to hear more from this excellent talent.
American Record Guide

But what appeals most are the performances and the recoding. Whitehead has an instinctive feel for this repertoire and a technique to match. The crisp voicing and attack of the splendid organ in Auxerre Cathedral is likewise more than equalled by the sophistication of the recording.
International Record Review




*****
B Smith

*****
M Rutherford