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VA - Wissmer: Symphony No. 1 / Piano Concerto No. 1 / Violin Concerto No. 1 (2014)

14-05-2015, 16:27
Music | Classical Music | FLAC / APE

VA - Wissmer: Symphony No. 1 / Piano Concerto No. 1 / Violin Concerto No. 1 (2014)

Artist: VA
Title Of Album: Wissmer: Symphony No. 1 / Piano Concerto No. 1 / Violin Concerto No. 1
Year Of Release: 2014
Label: Naxos
Genre: Classical
Quality: FLAC
Total Time: 59:29 min
Total Size: 262 MB
WebSite: Album Preview


Symphony No. 1
Artists: Ukraine National Symphony Orchestra & Fabrice Gregorutti
01. I. Allegro (6:59)
02. II. Adagio (6:40)
03. III. Vivace (6:31)

Piano Concerto No. 1
Artists: Ukraine National Symphony Orchestra, Frederic Lagarde & Fabrice Gregorutti
04. I. Maestoso (5:48)
05. II. Adagio (8:35)
06. III. Allegro (5:13)

Violin Concerto No. 1
Artists: Ukraine National Symphony Orchestra, Amaury Coeytaux & Fabrice Gregorutti
07. I. Allegro (7:58)
08. II. Fugue (6:11)
09. III. Finale (5:44)

Symphony No 1 (1938)

Wissmer’s Symphony No 1, in three movements of equal length, by a young man of 23 who had only a Piano Concerto to his credit, displays an eclectic spirit. The first movement tends towards the classical in the clarity of themes and developments and in the presence of the harpsichord*, which pays homage to Francis Poulenc’s Concert champêtre (1928); on the other hand, the use of chromaticism in the second movement is post-romantic. The third, with a dramatic motif and effects, is more traditional by virtue of the folk inspiration, accompaniments in pedal or open fifths, and the main theme of the Vivace. This was doubtless the influence of the Schola Cantorum where Wissmer was studying at the time with a Daniel-Lesur who was still an organist and influenced by Charles Tournemire; we also hear an allusion to jazz in the style of Maurice Ravel or Darius Milhaud. Nonetheless, here the composer is asking the musical questions of his time, such as the one about the permeability of genres (symphony, symphonie concertante, concerto), all gratuitous virtuosity notwithstanding. The use of timbres in sections, doublings or solos recalls the orchestral writing of Ravel or Richard Strauss, whereas the brass calls willingly evoke the world of Léoš Janáček. Each of the three movements is in common time with an intentionally Dorian modal colour—Wissmer had been particularly impressed by Heinrich Kaminski’s Dorische-musik—, but the three tempi remain clearly contrasted.

After a brief introduction, the Allegro in G major is organised round an elegant minuet theme stated by the oboe and strings then taken up by the harpsichord, marked by a gruppetto and circulating through all the instruments as the movement goes on.

The Adagio opens on a very lilting intertwining of resolutely modal contrapuntal construction. The Ravelian orchestration is characterised by the progressive increase in sections up to a mysterious, chromatic central part in which trumpets, oboes and flutes sing over a bare accompaniment, nonetheless resulting in a theatrical fortissimo erased by a melancholy lament in the strings.

The third movement, Vivace in G (Dorian, major, minor), constructed round a melody inspired by Huguenot psalms, convokes the orchestra in its entirety. A dramatic motif of a minor third, recalling the haunting, obsessive use of this interval in Strauss’s Salome , punctuates the first part and provides a foundation for a trumpet solo unfolding over swing syncopations of the tutti, soon carrying the orchestra along in its wake before a return to the dramatic motif of the beginning. The coda quotes the chorale before a string arpeggio punctuated by a final bass drum stroke.

(* The harpsichord can by replaced by a piano)

Piano Concerto No 1 (1937)

Scoring: winds in pairs with piccolo; brass in pairs and tuba; drum, cymbals, suspended cymbal, side-drum, woodblock, castanets, tambourine, timpani; solo piano; strings Pierre Wissmer served his apprenticeship in composition with Roger-Ducasse at the Conservatoire and Daniel-Lesur at the Schola Cantorum, as well as conducting with Charles Münch at the École Normale de Musique. After a short Suite for his own instrument, the piano, in 1936, he would go on to make use of it as soloist or chamber player in more than twenty works including three concertos.

Completed in Paris on 28 April and first performed on 10 October 1937 at the Paris International Exposition of Modern Industrial and Decorative Arts by his teacher Jacqueline Blancard conducted by Henri Tomasi, this First Piano Concerto is the work of a 22-year-old musician. The same year, he wrote a Suite en trio for two violins and viola, given its première almost immediately at La Spirale, his First String Quartet, and a Mouvement for string orchestra first performed in Geneva in February of the following year. In that work of neoclassical aesthetic, Wissmer weaves the styles that touched him in a ‘clear, straightforward language’ (Daniel-Lesur), also affirmed in his First Symphony (1938). Inventive, lyrical and generous, leaning on tonality and modality, he demonstrated profound mastery of orchestration and concentrated on the soloist’s virtuosity and the search for original sonorities.

The first movement is introduced by a Maestoso in 5/4 that firmly installs the key of D and a unifying thematic motif presented in the brass: an enriched D minor arpeggio. A cadence imitated from Couperin’s Ordres gives way to an Allegro (2/2), with orchestral reminiscences of Handel and Mozart’s melodic writing. Lively and bright, with even a folk tinge from the harmony over pedal, this movement contains two brief parentheses: one mysterious, or even Debussyist, a threnody in piano chords in the upper register accentuated by pizzicati in the violins and violas, and a repeat of the theme with rhythmic jazz inflexions.

The second movement, Adagio (4/4) in A, again finds the rhapsodic spirit of Debussy and assimilates the piano with the harp through playing in glissandi and arpeggiated chords favouring fourths and fifths and playing on resonances. The solo violin, horn, trumpet and oboe carry on a dialogue on a melancholic theme stemming from the unifying motif, this time on a heptatonic scale, then engage in a slow four-part fugue. The exchanges between orchestra and piano continue in a Ravelian cadenza before the theme is recapitulated one last time.

Returning to D major, the final movement, structured as a Rondo, begins with the piano’s Allegro in 4/4 reminiscent of Couperin’s style before cultivating oriental then folk-like sonorities in the orchestra and resulting in a generous tutti that precedes the Presto Scherzando recapitulating the brass motif from the beginning of the work and opening onto a wild, joyful final dance.

Violin Concerto No 1 (1942)

The overall thinking of the work, unified by key and melodic motif, initiated by Wissmer in his First Piano Concerto , is continued in his Violin Concerto, begun in 1940 and finished in 1942, a period of upheavals and doubts for the young composer. Called up, he served in the infantry and had trouble concentrating on composition. When he succeeded, it was to censure himself, confiding in Daniel-Lesur: ‘I don’t know whether I’m becoming too demanding towards myself or if the quality of my ideas has really declined, but the more I go on, the more trouble I have writing. Where is the sweet ease of my beginnings?’ The Concerto, however, attests to the full maturity of its author and places Wissmer in the tradition of Jeune France with the clarity of its diatonic language, taste for counterpoint and the elegance of forms and orchestral choices.. Completed on 11 September 1942 in Geneva, it was first performed on 26 April 1944 at Radio-Genève by the violinist André de Ribaupierre with the Orchestre de la Suisse Romande conducted by Edmond Appia.

Cast in three linked movements, the work opens with an Allegro in 3/4 presenting the generating theme of the whole work in the tutti: a play on the E major arpeggio and a dotted rhythm; the soloist in turn offers a thoroughly lyrical view of it. From then on, the movement consists of a brilliant contrapuntal overlapping of motifs derived from the two sides of the theme using, in particular, the canon process. The violin deploys all the nuances of a virtuosity inherited from Ysaÿe, sublimed in a final cadenza, profoundly expressive of the distress and revolt in face of the war, serving as a bridge to the second movement. This vast fugue, Moderato (3/2), rigorously elaborated but never abstract, presents a subject related to the opening theme; here the voice of the violin dominates the tutti like a melancholic, resigned lamento illustrating the work’s dedication: ‘to the memory of Jehan Alain, French musician killed in action, 20 June 1940’. A crescendo leads to the Finale Vivace announced by a shivering cymbal, heightened by harp strokes: the violin takes up the initial theme, this time in 12/8, and brilliantly conducts a Rondo with folk-dance accents, of which the central passage, after a few Debussyist inflexions, repeats the fugato principle one last time over an ostinato line in the low strings. Bringing together the full tutti, the work ends with an exultation of E major, like a hymn to hope.

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tiger   User offline   15 May 2015 11:22

Thanks a lot.

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dreamfs   User offline   17 May 2015 21:41


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