CHARLES KOECHLIN (1867-1950): Ballade, Op. 50, L’ancienne maison de campagne, Op. 124, 12 Préludes, Op. 209.
Catalogue Number: 07R034
Description: The Ballade of 1911-15 is a significant piece of some 22 minutes which is almost uniformly slow in tempo and with a veiled, legendary quality as of a half-remembered folk-tale partially obscured by the mists of time. There was a French EMI recording of its 1919 orchestral version from 1983 but this appears to be the solo version’s only CD appearance. The nostalgic, evocative, bittersweet L’ancienne maison, a half-hour long, 1932-33 cycle which recalls a halcyon summer spent in Switzerland as a 15-year-old, has appeared before but the late (1946) Op. 209 Preludes are also new to CD. Spare and austere, they have four slow pieces in an archaic, Bachian style which connect eight more supple pieces in faster tempos. Jean-Pierre Ferey (piano).