PAUL GILSON (1865-1942): Suite from Act I of the Ballet La Captive, Andante and Scherzo for Cello and Orchestra, La Mer for Orchestra, Saxhorns and Men's Choir.
Catalogue Number: 06I002
Reference: KTC 4017
Description: Gilson's first symphonic work, La Mer, predates Debussy (it comes from 1892) but it is still a good old-fashioned late Romantic work. Lasting just over 35 minutes in four movements ("Sunrise", "Songs and Dances of Sailors", "Twilight" and "Storm"), it is notable, beyond its solidly attractive values of Romantic tone-painting, for its use of a wordless choir (for 30 seconds in the "Storm" movement) and a group of eleven saxophones (of every type except sopranino and sous-contrabasse, also in the last movement) for extra coloristic effect. The 1900 ballet-pantomime La Captive was a failure but this suite of five excerpts (23 minutes) is notable for its richly orchestrated "orientalism", in the style of Rimsky-Korsakov. The eight-minute concertante cello piece (1906) is an attractive encore. Timora Rosler (cello), Buizingen Brass Band, Flemish Radio Choir and Orchestra; Martyn Brabbins.