Franck, Les Djinns (inter alia), B. Chamayou,
O. Latry, Royal Scottish National
Orchestra, S. Denève
(released on April 27, 2010)
Naïve V 5208 | 1h13
Certainly, the two works with orchestra could be a worthy alternative to late Romantic concertos: Jean-Yves Thibaudet should think about it instead of playing one of the Ravel or Liszt concertos for the umpteenth time. Put together, the Variations symphoniques and the brilliant, mysterious Les Djinns, the latter inspired by a poem from Victor Hugo's exotic collection Les Orientales, would make an exciting bit of programming. The Prélude, choral et fugue (also recorded recently by Jens Elvekjær) and Prélude, aria et final are more familiar but still rarely heard on recital programs (indeed, I believe, either work has been reviewed live only once in the history of Ionarts). The most savory discovery, however, is the final set of three short tracks, the Prélude, fugue et variation, op. 18, in Franck's unusual arrangement for piano and harmonium. None other than Olivier Latry plays the evocative 1926 Mustel harmonium -- a sound that reeks of Frenchness. Indeed, all of Chamayou's collaborators are top-notch, including conductor Stéphane Denève and his Royal Scottish National Orchestra.