THÉODORE GOUVY (1819-1898): Symphonies No. 3 in C, Op. 20 and No. 5 in B Flat, Op. 30.

Catalogue Number: 06K001

Label: CPO

Reference: 777 379

Format: CD

Price: $15.98

Description: ATTENTION MENDELSSOHN FANS: Gouvy was born and raised in a little town near Saarbrücken where his family owned an iron foundry which allowed him to pursue his musical studies and subsequent career without need of a job. Unlike most French composers of the day (except Farrenc and Onslow), he wrote symphonies - eight of them - and, although he also had unprecedented success in Paris (unprecedented for a French symphony composer, that is), his major base of acclaim and success was Leipzig, with Mendelssohn's Gewandhaus Orchestra. It is Mendelssohn who inhabits these symphonies (the Third, of 1852, could be the Mendelssohn Symphony No. 4.1): the sunny lyricism, the flowing melody, the burbling woodwinds and dancing rhythms all call him to mind even when one might also search for and find reminiscences of Beethoven and Schubert as well. The Fifth (1865) is shorter than the Third (23 minutes to 32) but the style is very similar and the notes tell us that it marked the end of a stylistic period. We will hope to hear more symphonies by Gouvy from this source, both earlier and later! Deutsche Radio Philharmonie Saarbrücken Kaiserslautern; Jacques Mercier.


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