THÉODORE GOUVY (1819-1898): Symphony No. 4 in D Minor, Op. 25, Symphonie brève in G Minor, Op. 58, Fantaisie Symphonique.
Catalogue Number: 04O001
Reference: 777 382-2
Description: The final volume in the Gouvy symphony series brings a work from 1856 but which was revised (the two final movements were replaced) in 1866. The notes call this "a thoroughly tragic and gloomy work" but either the writer never heard it played or he was imitating Brahms' tongue-in-cheek description of his own Second because this is a vigorous, purposeful work with what can only be described as a Beethovenian rhythmic swagger in three of its four movements (the minor key does not make it "tragic and gloomy" at all), the other being a relaxed little Larghetto. The "Short Symphony" (14 min.) was premiered in 1873; it's a theme and five variations through which the music becomes more rhythmically concise, followed by a boisterous rondo. The Fantaisie (no date given but after the brève) has the proportions of a symphony, divided into three movements with a slow introduction and lasting almost 22 minutes. This is generally a more brooding work, especially in its first two sections but the finale is sunlit geniality itself. German Radio Philharmonic Saarbrücken Kaiserslautern; Jacques Mercier.