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CHAN 5076
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CHAN 5076

Connesson: Aleph/ Une lueur dans l'age sombre/Supernova

The Classical Shop
release date: January 2010

Originally recorded in 2009


Royal Scottish National Orchestra

Stephane Deneve

Eric Le Sage



Royal Concert Hall, Glasgow


Brian Pidgeon


Ralph Couzens

Jonathan Cooper


Record Label



Orchestral & Concertos

Total Time - 51:39
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(b. 1970)
premiere recording

Aleph (2007, revised 2009)

  pour orchestre  
  Part I of Cosmic Trilogy  
  Pour Asa et Stéphane Denève, en cadeau de mariage  
  Vif - Largement - Très vif - Tempo I - Très vif - Tempo I - Très vif  
premiere recording

Une lueur dans l'age sombre (2005)

  pour orchestre symphonique  
  Part II of Cosmic Trilogy  
  À Stéphane Denève  
2 Cosmique - Détendre - Calme - 8:06
3 Très lent - Tempo I - À peine plus animé - A tempo (I) - Plus lent - 5:30
4 A tempo (I) - Animer un peu - Agité - Plus large - Animer imperceptiblement - 5:43

Supernova (1997, revised 2006)

  pour orchestre  
  Part III of Cosmic Trilogy  
  À René Bosc  
5 I Quelques cercles. Sensuel - À peine plus vite - Poco meno mosso - 8:28
6 II Pulsating Star. Très vif - Un peu moins vite - Exultant - 6:12
premiere recording

The Shining One (2009)

  pour piano et orchestre  
  À Jean-Yves Thibaudet  
  Magique - Plus clame - Plus lent - Accelerando poco a poco al Tempo I -  
 Eric Le Sage piano
  Also available as SACD CHSA 5076

Recognised as one of the youngest and most gifted contemporary composers, Guillaume Connesson brings together an imaginatively diffuse range of influences, from the riches of the musical traditions of his native France to John Adams, Steve Reich and the funk of James Brown. During the composition of the works making up the Cosmic Trilogy Connesson also drew inspiration from such sources as the paintings of Kandinsky and the physics of Stephen Hawking.

After first discovering Connesson’s music in 2001, Stéphane Denève remarked on its ‘amazing orchestration… the quality of writing for large orchestra on the level of a Ravel or Stravinsky!’ During his tenure at the Royal Scottish National Orchestra Denève has regularly championed Connesson’s works and two parts of the Cosmic Trilogy, ‘Aleph’ and ‘Une lueur dans l’âge sombre’, were commissioned by the RSNO. These are dedicated to Denève; in fact, the symphonic dance ‘Aleph’ was a marriage gift.

The Cosmic Trilogy evokes three moments in the history of the universe: the Big Bang in ‘Aleph’, the appearance of light and the stars in ‘Une lueur dans l’âge sombre’, and finally the explosion and death of a star in ‘Supernova’.

Connesson’s works have been quickly appreciated by music lovers and performers for the exciting vitality they imbue, and the easy-going tonal strains that permeate them. The Guardian described the work as ‘bright-toned and imaginatively scored… crowd-pleasing, colourful music’. Chandos is delighted to present the first recording of the complete trilogy.
Guillaume Connesson studied piano, history of music, choir analysis and direction at the Conservatoire National de Région de Boulogne-Billancourt, as well as orchestration at the Conservatoire National de Paris. He is currently professor of orchestration at the Conservatoire National de Région d’Aubervilliers.


"...Performances here are of the highest order, with Eric Le Sage, who gave the concerto’s premiere, on glittering form and the RSNO on their toes throughout Chandos’s SACD recording is vividly spectacular."

The Pengiun Guide – 1000 Greatest Classical Recordings 2011-12

“…This CD shows Guillaume Connesson to be a composer of the utmost craftsmanship and fluency, utterly sure of the music he wants to write…” “His music is readily appealing …”  “…Although the composer and conductor are French, the heroes of the disc are Scottish: great credit should go to the Royal Scottish National Orchestra for its virtuosic playing, and for commissioning two of the four pieces on the recording.”

Bernard Hughes

Tempo Magazine - January 2011

 …“Eric le Sage is the excellent pianist. Fine readings by the orchestra, who seem energized by this project.”




American Record Guide - September/October 2010

“…Guillaume Connesson really knows how to write. His scoring is brilliant, but more importantly he has ideas. He writes tunes and motives that are attractive, capable of development and individual.” “…There is not a dull moment anywhere in these four pieces.”

“Deneve is surely right to champion Connesson’s work, and the Royal Scottish National Orchestra plays it all brilliantly. Chandos made some of its best-engineered recordings with these forces, and its evident that the label hasn’t forgotten how. A major release”
                                         Artisitic Quality – 10       Sound Quality – 10


David Hurwitz - 24 March 2010



Gerard Conde

Diapason - March 2010

                  ’Choc de Classica’

 Michael Sebaoun

de Classica - March 2010


John Sunier

Audiophile Audition - 10 February 2010

“He [Connesson]is an exceptionally gifted orchestrator, and his music is wonderfully colourful and dramatically varied. The Royal Scottish National Orchestra, with whom the composer has had a long relationship, plays with polish and sparkle under Stephane Deneve and Eric le Sage brings finesse to the piano part in The Shining One…”

Stephen Eddins - February 2010

“…Young pianist Eric Le Sage is the impressive soloist on this recording. All of these are premier recordings and set a standard unlikely to be matched.”  “Don’t miss this one!”

Robert Benson - January 2010

Performance ****  Recording ****

Barry Witherden

BBC Music Magazine - March 2010

“This is a disc that dazzles and enchants.”

“…This disc can be very warmly recommended to anybody who wants to hear four major works by one of the most communicative French composers of the younger generation, in authoritative performances that have been recorded beautifully by Chandos in sound that has both detail and depth. Very informative notes compete this admirable disc, one that has given me a great deal of pleasure and has been an exciting discovery.”

Nigel Simeone


International Record Review - February 2010

"...the performance and the sound are superb."

Colin Anderson

“Connesson’s eclectic effusions are given committed performances.”

Peter Dickinson


Gramophone - March 2010

“In his Cosmic Trilogy, Guillaume Conneson seeks to encapsulate the mysteries of the universe in the form of a symphony in three movements…” “Connesson captures the various events with cinematic precision and virtuosic allure, which the RSNO and Stephane Deneve respond to with infectious alacrity. Hot off the creative press, The Shining One is a pyrotechnical pianistic challenge dispatched with nonchalant ease by Eric Le Sage.”

Julian Haylock


Classic FM Magazine - March 2010

“If there’s another living composer who combines fantasy with shimmering orchestral virtuosity as brilliantly as Guillaume Connesson, I’ve yet to hear him. Connesson’s portrait of the life-cycle of stars claims Stephen Hawking and Kandinsky as inspiration, but the music evokes Indiana Jones, by way of Dukas and Skryabin. It’s shamelessly derivative, but I couldn’t help warming to it.”

Ivan Hewett

The Telegraph - 29 January 2010

D Sanders