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CHAN 9875
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CHAN 9875

Franck: Orchestral Works

The Classical Shop
release date: January 2001

Recorded in 24 Bit / 44.1Khz
album available as a Studio Master
Originally recorded in 2000


BBC Philharmonic

Yan Pascal Tortelier

Louis Lortie

* (piano)


New Broadcasting House, Manchester


Brian Pidgeon


Mike George



Stephen Rinker

Richard Smoker

(Assistant: Les Eolides, Symphonic Variations)

Peter Newble

(Assistant: Symphony)

Record Label


Orchestral & Concertos

Total Time - 61:16
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*if you purchase a higher level format, we include the lower formats 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 or better


Select Complete Single Disc for

Les Eolides

  Allegretto vivo  

Symphonic Variations*

  for Piano and Orchestra  

Symphony in D minor

  in d-Moll - en ré mineur  
3 I Lento - Allegro non troppo 16:45
4 II Allegretto 10:20
5 III Allegro non troppo 8:57
Yan Pascal Tortelier conducts the BBC Philharmonic and renowned pianist Louis Lortie in works by Franck.

This disc presents orchestral works by Franck, including the Symphonic Variations for Piano and Orchestra (1885) which features Louis Lortie as the esteemed soloist.

Louis Lortie has released numerous discs on Chandos all of which have been highly praised by the international press. Recent releases include Beethoven Piano Sonatas and works for piano and orchestra by Liszt.

Yan Pascal Tortelier and the BBC Philharmonic are natural exponents of French repertoire such as this, as was recently proven by their winning the 2000 Gramophone Award in the Choral category for works by Boulanger (CHAN 9745).

Franck’s often introspective and distinctly personal style of composition was based on a love of the German masters – notably Beethoven and Wagner – and a belief in music as idea, not just entertainment. At his best Franck holds the two elements in perfect balance. Franck completed the orchestral tone poem Les Eolides in 1876. It evokes the mythological daughters of Aeolus, the god of the winds, who reawaken nature with their song. Nearly a decade later Franck conducted the triumphant premiere of his Symphonic Variations. This ‘little something’, as Franck called it, is a work where the traditional bravura tug-of-war between soloist and orchestra is transmuted into the most eloquent dialogue. Not that the work is short of drama: it abounds in the most wonderful lyricism, culminating in the ethereal sixth variation with the piano’s shimmering filigree of semiquavers. From the beginning Franck’s Symphony was not a success. It was first heard on 17 February 1889, conducted by Jules Garcin. At the heart of the symphony was a technique that Franck had made his own: cyclic form. This is a method of constructing a work by process of musical evolution, with initial cells, or motifs, being developed and transformed to recur in new guises throughout. The sense of unity and musical discourse this gave to the music was intensely satisfying to an inquiring mind like Franck’s, but his critics were unimpressed by what they saw as a lack of traditional form, to which they added charges of tortuous chromatic harmony, lack of orchestral colour and a disconcerting use of the cor anglais. Defects or not, it stands almost alone for its time in France and had an enormous influence on the next generations of French composers. It is undeniably a powerful vehicle of symphonic thought, sweeping the listener along in a wordless musical drama from the very first bars.

‘Lortie is an unfailingly thoughtful and thought-provoking artist of compelling utterance, who always has something new to say and whose expressive eloquence is always at the service of the composer.’
Classic FM on CHAN 9793 (To a Distant Beloved)

‘…it is hard to imagine how Tortelier’s devoted and intuitive conducting could be bettered.’
BBC Music Magazine on CHAN 9745 (Boulanger)

‘While Tortelier is at work – and long may he prosper! – let it not be said that we have only baton technicians and no great interpreters. He has sounded Franck’s depth and struck a compelling resonance that may well set the standard for decades to come.’

‘Chandos catches the bright sound colours and keeps resonance under control. Main items become clear choices in the absence of idiomatic alternatives’.
BBC Music Magazine

‘Again Tortelier reinforces his outstanding claims as an interpreter of the French Romantic repertory’.

‘Louis Lortie plays all these works with immaculate brio… Volume 2 of Liszt’s original works for piano and orchestra is eagerly awaited.’
Gramophone on CHAN 9801 (Liszt)

R Marshall

T Henson