Bizet CD Premieres!GEORGES BIZET (1838-1875): Variations chromatiques (orch. Felix Weingartner [1863-1942]), Symphony in C, Jeux d'enfants, Op. 22 (orch. Bizet, Hershy Kay [1919-1981] and Roy Douglas [b.1907]).
Catalogue Number: 09P038
Label: Reference Recordings
Description: This deceptively anodyne looking release conceals 27 minutes of music you'll probably never have heard before. First, as you may recall, Bizet only orchestrated five pieces from his 16-piece piano four-hands Jeux d'enfants; here are the World Premiere Recordings of the other 11, done by Kay, an American composer and arranger of ballet scores and Douglas, a Brit who did a Les Sylphides of his own from Chopin's music and orchestrated 24 films including the famous Warsaw Concerto (and yes, he's still alive at 106!). It's only fitting that conductor-composer Weingartner orchestrated the piano Variations chromatiques (1933) since he gave the first performance of Bizet's forgotten symphony in 1935. Also a World Premiere Recording, this turns out to be a fabulously colorful 14-minute mini "concerto for orchestra" which moves from doomladen foreboding at the beginning to diaphanous lyricism in the central part before returning to the ominous character of the beginning to close. This must be what it would be like to hear Ravel's orchestration of Mussorgsky's Pictures having previously only known the piano work. Fantastic! San Francisco Ballet Orchestra; Martin West.