BECHARA EL-KHOURY (b.1957): Poème nocturne, Op. 80 (Orchestre de Paris; Eivind Gullberg Jensen), Symphonic Poem No. 6 “Espaces-Fragmentations”, Op. 87 (Orchestre National de France; Daniele Gatti), Orages - Concert Overture, Op. 93 (Orchestre de Paris; Paavo Järvi), Le Chant d’amour - Lyric Poem, Op. 44 (Ariane Douguet [soprano], Orchestre Colonne; David Coleman).

Catalogue Number: 08T067

Label: Naxos

Reference: 8.573617

Format: CD

Price: $11.98

Description: El-Khoury's idiom is grounded in late-Romantic tonality - this is made very clear in the opulent Le Chant d'amour, which deliberately evokes the Strauss of the Four Last Songs. The dramatic Orages is effectively a tone-poem evoking the powerful chaos of the storms of the composer's native Lebanon and their surreal, shattering psychological effect. Basically tonal fanfares of flaring lightning and rolling thunderclouds over the desert are harmonised with extreme, even cluster, dissonance, to great effect. Espaces-fragmentations is a meditation on the mysteries of time and space, consisting of luminous brief gestures like violent astronomical events glimpsed at a great distance. The three-movement Poème-nocturne was written in memory of Jean-Pierre Rampal. Unusually structured, two mysterious, impressionistic outer movements in which the soloist takes centre stage are separated by a vigorous 'cadenza' for orchestra only, symbolising an outpouring of grief at Rampal's passing.

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