Classical The best music site on the web there is where you can read about and listen to blues, jazz, classical music and much more. This is your ultimate music resource. Tons of albums can be found within. Tue, 30 Nov 2021 07:19:01 +0000 Joomla! 1.5 - Open Source Content Management en-gb Gouvy - Works for Two Pianos (2012) Gouvy - Works for Two Pianos (2012)

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Sonate pour deux pianos en ré mineur, Op.66   22:34
1. I. Largo maestoso - Allegro
2. II. Adagio cantabile
3. III. Allegro vivo

4. Scherzo, Op.60     5:38
5. Lilli Bulléro, variations pour deux pianos sur un air anglais, Op.62    11:35
6. Marche pour deux pianos, Op.63     6:58

Fantaisie pour deux pianos, Op.69    19:35
7. I. Grave - Allegro molto moderato
8. II. Adagio
9. III. Alla breve

Divertissement pour deux pianos, Op.78     12:49
10. I. Andante con moto
11. II. Lento - Allegro vivace

Laurent Martin & Carole Dubois - pianos


Gouvy composed a series of two-piano compositions between 1870 and 1873, while living occasionally on the estate of his older brother’s widow. She was a fine pianist, and as the composer was one as well, these two piano works came into being both for private enjoyment and performance at gatherings. A diplomatic soul, Gouvy solved the issue of primary and secondary parts by making the two largely equal, passing the lead and more difficult material back and forth between both players.

From the frowning, pomposo introduction to the Sonata’s first movement—which turns out to be the first thematic group in what is an ingenious hybrid rondo-sonata form—to the light-hearted Scherzo with its hint of a musette, these works demonstrate the expressive range of the composer. The material is usually in two or three parts, and occasionally in four, which with its increased sonority over the solo piano gives each piece a symphonic feel. It helps that Gouvy only engages in homophonic chords for variety’s sake or to make a point, as he does when he transforms the first statement of the jig Lillibullero (published originally in 1661 with the subtitle, “An Antidote Against Melancholy”) into a slow, sweetly majestic hymn. Elsewhere he is inclined to trade foreshortened thematic and rhythmic motifs, to ornament in accompaniment, and to investigate the harmonic possibilities of his themes through cross-references and bridges into far-reaching keys. Two-piano music was not that rare in France, with both Saint-Saëns and Bizet making distinguished contributions. To these Gouvy’s music on this disc can be added. Freed from the requirements of conventional symphonic form and general audience expectations, he could indulge his fancy and imagination to its fullest.

Larent Martin and Carole Dubois argue persuasively with their hands for this music. Of moderate difficulty, they encounter no technical hurdles, and their performances offer a mix of precision, clear articulation, and color. I might want a lighter touch in some of the more tongue-in-cheek passages of the Marche that recall Offenbach, but they never lack for energy; and they play the music as one, with that complete unity that only time and much practice can bestow on a two-piano partnership.

There’s only one small cloud on the horizon: Ligia’s good liner notes, complete with analysis presented on musical staves, are only offered in French. Ah, well. C’est la vie . Throw in full, forward sound, with a rich depth and bright, fully integrated top, and you have a truly pleasant surprise in store for fans of this composer. --- Barry Brenesal, FANFARE,

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]]> (bluesever) Gouvy Louis Theodore Wed, 13 Nov 2019 16:33:45 +0000
Louis Théodore Gouvy – Der Cid (Le Cid) [2011] Louis Théodore Gouvy – Der Cid (Le Cid) [2011]

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1. Part I
2. Part II

König – Guido Baehr (Bariton)
Don Diego von Vivar – Hiroshi Matsui (Bass)
Rodrigo, sein Sohn – Hans-Georg Priese (Tenor)
Graf Gormas – Thomas Jesatko (Bass)
Ximene, seine Tochter – Christa Ratzenböck (Sopran)
Don Alonzo – Algirdas Drevinskas (Tenor)
Elvira – Elizabeth Wiles (Sopran)
Erster Maurenkönig – Tereza Andrasi (Sopran)
Zweiter Maurenkönig – Sang Man Lee (Tenor)
Dritter Maurenkönig – Jiri Sulzenko (Bass)

Chor des Saarländischen Staatstheaters Saarbrücken 
Saarländisches Staatsorchester
Arthur Fagen – conductor

Arthur Fagen conducts the world première of Théodore Gouvy's opera Le Cid
 at the Saarländischen Staatstheater in Germany, on 3 June 2011.


The French composer Louis Théodore Gouvy was certainly no child prodigy, and indeed is said to have exhibited almost no interest nor aptitude for music as a youngster. In fact, he received his formal education at a training college at Metz, after which he went to Paris in 1836 to pursue legal studies. However, he also took piano lessons with Billard, a former pupil of the virtuoso Henri Herz, which suddenly began to divert his energies away from his law courses, from which, incidentally, he failed to graduate. In 1839, Gouvy elected to completely change his career direction and saw to it that he was seen in the fashionable Paris salons frequented by Adolphe Adam and others, and secured theory lessons privately with Elwart. In 1841, Gouvy became a piano student of Pierre Zimmermann, and also spent several months in Berlin, where his first efforts in composition were published at his expense.

After further study under conductor and composer C.F. Rungenhagen, Gouvy passed the years 1844 - 1845 in Italy, completing his first symphony. This was premiered in Paris by an ad hoc orchestra a year later. During the years that followed, quite a few of Gouvy's works were given concert performances, almost always at his own expense.

After 1855, finding that his music was only given a lukewarm reception in France, he began to spend time in several German centers, and secured performances of several of his works in Leipzig and Berlin. Gouvy's only stage work, the opera Der Cid, was accepted in Dresden in 1863, but it was never performed. A man of independent means, Gouvy never secured any professional appointments, but received honorary membership in the Berlin Academy in 1895 and became a Chevalier of the French Legion d'Honneur in 1896. He completed more than 90 works spanning many genres, though was at best an averagely gifted amateur composer. --- Michael Jameson,

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]]> (bluesever) Gouvy Louis Theodore Mon, 28 Aug 2017 16:41:57 +0000
Théodore Gouvy - Oedipe À Colone (2013) Théodore Gouvy - Oedipe À Colone (2013)

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1-01 	Première Partie Nr. 1 Introduction 	3:02
1-02 	Première Partie Nr. 1b Chœur (Parez De Myrte En Fleur) 	7:55
1-03 	Première Partie Nr. 2 Thésée (Habitants De Colone) 	0:51
1-04 	Première Partie Nr. 2b Chœur Des Guerriers (Polynice, Salut!) 	2:35
1-05 	Première Partie Nr. 3 Marche Religieuse 	3:02
1-06 	Première Partie Nr. 4 Polynice (Ô Ciel! Ce Lieu Sacré) 	0:36
1-07 	Première Partie Nr. 4b Polynice (Seigneur, J'avais Un Père) 	3:57
1-08 	Première Partie Nr. 5 Finale. Thésée (Vous-que L'innocence Même) 	3:31
1-09 	Première Partie Nr. 5b Chœur (Vous-que L'innocence Même) 	2:03
1-10 	Première Partie Nr. 5c Chœur (Ah! Pitié) 	3:33
1-11 	Deuxième Partie Nr. 6 Antigone, Oedipe (Appuyez-vous Sur Moi) 	8:29
1-12 	Deuxième Partie Nr. 6b Antigone (Mon Sort, Je Le Préfère) 	4:59
1-13 	Deuxième Partie Nr. 6c Oedipe (Dieux Vengeurs! Que Vouliez-vous De Moi?) 	6:39
1-14 	Deuxième Partie Nr. 7 Chœur (Voyez Là-bas) 	3:31
1-15 	Deuxième Partie Nr. 8 Chœur (Oedipe Est L'ennemi) 	1:56
1-16 	Deuxième Partie Nr. 9 Antigone, Thésée (Ô Bonté Tutélaire! Ô Père Infortuné) 	4:39
1-17 	Deuxième Partie Nr. 10 Chœur (Infortunés Humains) 	5:20
2-01 	Troisième Partie Nr. 11 Chœur De Femmes (Sommeil, Doux Repos) 	1:42
2-02 	Troisième Partie Nr. 12 Polynice (Antigone, Ma Sœur) 	7:07
2-03 	Troisième Partie Nr. 13 Chœur (Ô Soupirs Du Remords) 	1:39
2-04 	Troisième Partie Nr. 14 Finale. Oedipe (Ma Fille, Écoutez Moi) 	8:30
2-05 	Troisième Partie Nr. 14b Oedipe (Et Maintenant Écoute, Ô Souverain D'Athènes) 	4:05
2-06 	Troisième Partie Nr. 14c Chœur Final (Édonée!) 	3:11

Antigone – Christa Ratzenböck (soprano)
Oedipe – Vinzenz Haab (bass)
Thésée – Stephen Roberts (baritone)
Polynice – Joseph Cornwell (tenor)

Kantorei Saarlouis
La Grande Société Philharmonique
Joachim Fontaine - Conductor 

Rec.: Evangelische Kirche Saarlouis, 14-16.X.2012


Back in 34:3 I reviewed a premiere recording of Louis Théodore Gouvy’s secular oratorio Iphigénie en Tauride , conducted by Joachim Fontaine. While admiring the composer’s “usual fastidious craftsmanship and superior technical command of orchestration and of vocal and instrumental part-writing,” I expressed reservations about “a lack of dramatic contrast and real passion” and added: “The music is too cultivated for its often harrowing subject....Instead, one elegant and decorous set piece follows another, all inhabiting a temperate emotional climate zone that fails either to inflame or chill. There is also a certain stasis and lack of flow from one number to the next.” Having had a similar reaction to another one of the composer’s oratorios, Électre , I speculated that “Gouvy may deliberately have been cultivating a degree of emotional restraint in these works in order to convey a stylized sense of classical antiquity that would have fit 19th-century sensibilities.”

Fontaine now leads the same choral and instrumental forces, though with mostly different vocal soloists, in the premiere recording of yet another oratorio by Gouvy on a mythic Greek subject, Oedipe à Colone . What a difference from Iphigénie ! Here there is no such emotional restraint or stasis; the beautiful and inventive music positively surges with genuine dramatic contrast and intense passion. While still remaining mostly within the melodic and harmonic bounds cultivated by Mendelssohn, Schumann, and Max Bruch, the richness of orchestration reflects Gouvy’s expressed admiration for the masterful orchestration (though not the vocal writing) of Wagner. This is by far the finest oratorio I have heard (and I’ve listened to a fair number) from the half-century interval between Mendelssohn’s Elijah and Elgar’s Dream of Gerontius . At its premiere in Leipzig on December 6, 1881, it enjoyed a tremendous success—indeed, to such a degree that Gouvy told his sister that it was the happiest day of his entire life. While it received further performances during his lifetime, upon his death it immediately fell into the same neglect that all his works have, until recently, so unjustly suffered.

The libretto of Oedipe has a somewhat complex lineage. As with Iphigénie , Gouvy once again did not write or commission an original libretto, but instead borrowed and adapted an existing one penned by the 18th-century librettist Nicolas-François Guillard (1752–1814). In this case, the original tragedy of Sophocles was first adapted by the great 17th-century tragedian Pierre Corneille (1606–1684). Guillard then turned it into a libretto for a tragédie lyrique by the composer Antonio Sacchini (1730–1786), premiered in 1785 at the royal court in Versailles.

The action of the plot, divided in the oratorio into three parts, is subsequent to that of the better-known Oedipus Rex . Oedipe (the French name for Oedipus), having blinded himself after learning that he had unwittingly fulfilled the prophecy that he would kill his father and marry his mother, was exiled from Thebes with the consent of his sons Etéocle (Eteokles) and Polynice (Polyneikis), to wander as an exile with his daughter Antigone as his guide. In Part 1, the citizens of Colonus offer sacrifices to Poseidon in thanksgiving for the safe return of their king, Thésée (Theseus), who brings with him Polynice. The latter, having lost out in a power struggle with Etéocle for the throne of Thebes and being now also an exile, is filled with shame and remorse for having spurned his father. He has gathered a band of armed supporters and hopes to launch an attack to regain the Theban throne. The two men kneel before the altar to discern the will of the gods and implore their favor, but are answered first by ominous silence and then by a thunderstorm that extinguishes the altar’s sacred flame and terrifies the people.

In Part 2, Oedipe and Antigone approach Colonus, which the gods have prophesied is where the blind refugee shall at last find rest. Oedipe longs for death, while Antigone pleads for him to live. The exiled king experiences a terrifying vision of being pursued by the Eumenides, and curses Polynice for betraying him, before Antigone brings him back to his senses. The two of them unknowingly trespass on the sacred precincts of the temple; Thésée confronts and denounces them for sacrilege. Antigone begs for mercy and reveals the identities of herself and her father. The people react with horror and demand that the accursed pair be driven away, but Thésée angrily opposes the mob and, taking pity on the duo instead, offers them refuge.

In Part 3, Antigone and Polynice are reunited. Antigone brings her brother to their father so that Polynice can confess his guilt to Oedipe, beg forgiveness, and seek support for his scheme to dethrone Etéocle, offering to restore his father to the throne instead by way of atonement. Oedipe, however, rejects him and curses both of his sons, whereupon Polynice flees in horror. Oedipe then declares to all that the hour of his death has come, as he will descend to a secret burial place at the banks of the river Acheron. Antigone begs to be allowed to join him, but is commanded to live instead. Thésée leads Oedipe away as the people implore the mercy of the gods for the exile’s final moments. --- FANFARE: James A. Altena,

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]]> (bluesever) Gouvy Louis Theodore Wed, 13 Sep 2017 17:35:18 +0000