HENRI RABAUD (1873-1949): Symphony No. 2 in E Minor, Op. 5, La Procession nocturne, Op. 6, Églogue, Op. 7.
Catalogue Number: 03O001
Description: Unlike the contemporary symphonies by Franck, Lalo, Chausson and others, Rabaud's is in four movements which makes the note-writer claim Beethoven as the influence but you might see/hear it differently. The minor-key threat of the first movement (mirrored in a rather more anxious finale), anchored by a five-note motif which sounds like the thundering command of a barbarian god and its cyclical return in the finale are Franckian. But the calm, almost devotional quality of the slow movement and the scherzo, whose bouncing lightless, effortless melody and prominent use of the winds recalls Glazunov (and he was the master of the joyous scherzo) are Rabaud's own. First performed in 1899, it was probably composed during 1986-97. Seasoned collectors will have the Lenau-inspired tone-poem La Procession nocturne (1898) on either EMI or Marco Polo; clock-watchers will like to know that this procession moves along faster than either of the others - in fact almost three minutes faster than the Marco Polo. The 1895? Éclogue, a short five-minute piece seems to flirt with Impressionism (and was also recorded on EMI). Sofia Philharmonic Orchestra; Nicolas Couton.