Friday, May 17, 2013

Montage # 105 - Haydn: The Paris Symphonies/les Symphonies Parisiennes (2/3)



As of June 14, 2013, this montage will no longer be available on Pod-O-Matic. It can be heard or downloaded from the Internet Archive at the following address / A compter du 14 juiin 2013, ce montage ne sera plus disponible en baladodiffusion Pod-O-Matic. Il peut être téléchargé ou entendu au site Internet Archive à l'adresse suivante:

https://archive.org/details/Pcast105



pcast105- Playlist

===================================================================== English Commentary – le commentaire français suit

For this second part to our complete set of the Haydn Paris Symphonies, I chose two of the four symphonies that have nicknames.

We heard "La Reine" last week, and we will hear "The Bear" next week. People probably already know about "The Hen", which is the second of our two symphonies today, but few people bring up the fourth symphony with a nickname: "In nomine Domini" or In the Name of God.

Like the other Paris symphonies, Symphony no. 84 was written for the Concerts de la Loge Olympique, possibly the largest orchestral ensemble that Haydn had written for up until that time, including reinforced woodwind parts and a large string section. Unlike the other Paris symphonies (save No. 87), in No. 84 greater prominence is given to woodwind instruments. Despite its number, the symphony was actually one of the last of the six Paris symphonies to be composed, completed in 1786.

The more well-known Symphony no. 83, "the Hen", sees its nickname come from the clucking second subject in the first movement, which reminded listeners of the jerky back-and forth head motion of a walking hen. The performance I chose is from one of the many Haydn symphony recordings by Sir Colin Davis and the Concertgebouw orchestra, a humble homage to the recently deceased conductor.

To complete the montage, I chose to fill with many works inspired by hens and roosters, this includes Respighi's Hen from The Birds, and Carl Nielsen's delightful Dance of the Cockerels from his opera Maskarade. For good measure, I added the short and cute miniature from Mussorgsky's Pictures at an Exhibition "The Dance of the Chicks in their Shells". For this excerpt, I chose the prchestration by Leopold Stokowski.

As the sizeable work to this filler section, I chose a vinyl recording of Rimsky-Korsakov's suite to his opera The Golden Cockerel by Antal Dorati and the London Symphony from one of his many Mercury recordings. Le Coq d'Or is probably one of Rimsky's rare political operas, meant as a caricature of the current (and, as History tells us, the last) Czsr. Under Czar Nicholas II Russia became involved in a war with Japan. This war was highly unpopular amongst the Russian people. It proved to be a military disaster, and Russia was eventually defeated. (In the Golden Cockerel, King Dodon foolishly decides to make a pre-emptive strike against the neighbouring State, and there is huge chaos and bloodshed on the battlefield. The king himself gives more attention to his personal pleasures, and comes to a sticky end.) Rimsky-Korsakov decided to create a work exposing the disastrous tsarist regime, and in 1906 he started work on the Golden Cockerel. Finished in 1907, the opera was immediately banned by the Palace, and was not allowed to be staged – the resemblance between the Czar and the foolish King Dodon was too close.

To close out, one last chicken dance:




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Commentaire français


Notre second volet de notre survol des symphonies Parisiennes de Haydn considère une paire de symphonies à surnom. En fait quatre des six symphonies héritent de sobriquets - la reine (la semaiine dernière), l'ours (la semaine prochaine) et nos deux sélections de cette semaine.

Commençons par le surnom le moins célèbre des deux: la 84e a pour surnom "In nomine Domini" (latin opour au nom de Dieu) prend avantage des nombreux instruments à vents - en partic lier des bois - de l'orchestre des Concerts de la Loge Olympique. Les exégètes musicaux croient que cett symphonie est une des dernières composées dans cette série.

Des deux symphonies d'aujourd'hui, la plus connue est sans doute la 83e symphonie., "la poule". Le surnom provient du deuxièeme thème du mouvement initial, qui rappelle les déplacements pleins de soubresauts d'un poulet.  Tant qu'à l'enregistrement retenu, il s'agît d'un des nombreux signés par le tandem du Concertgebouw et de Sir Colin Davis qui ont endisqué ensemble toutes les symphonies londonniennes et quelques unes des autres du compositeur. Sir Colin, bien spur, nous a quitté il y a quelques semaines.

En complément de programme, j'ai choisi de remplir le montage avec des oeuvres dont les titres s'inspirent de coqs et de poules: la poule extraite des oiseaux (Gli Ucelli) de Respighi, la danse des coqueraux de l'opéra Maskerade de Nielsen et la danse des poussins des tableaux d'une exposition de Moussorgski. Cette dernière est extraite de l'orchestration Stokowski.

Une des oeuvres retenues en complément est une suite de Rimski-Korsakov extraite de son opéra d'inspiration politique Le Coq d'Or. Pour la plupart des Russes contemporaiuns de Rimski, les parallèles entre les péripéties (et déboires) du Tsar Dodon de cet opéra rappellent ceux du Ras Nicholas (qui connaîtra une fin des plus notoires aux maoins des Bolchévistes. La cour tasriste a dailleurs empêché qu'on mnonte cet opéra en Russie Tsariste.

Bonne écoute!