WILLIAM WALLACE (1860-1940): Creation Symphony in C Sharp Minor, Suite from Incidental Music to Pelléas et Mélisande, Prelude to The Eumenides.
Catalogue Number: 09Q047
Reference: CDH 55465
Description: Our featured item just under 14 years ago! The symphony (1896-99) is cast in four large movements: "In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth" starts with Wallace's own musical representation of primeval Chaos out of which the main allegro comes into being, representing the arrival of light, swelling to a majestic climax before receding into a calm hymn with reminiscences of the tone poem The Passing of Beatrice. The second movement, "And God made two great lights...", opens with a startling anticipation of minimalist technique (long before there was a name for it!) evoking the twinkling of stars; themes for the moon and the sun follow and the movement ends in a triumphant fanfare as the first sun rises. The scherzo, "And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters..." combines restless surging motives with a pastoral theme to represent the earth and the ocean. The finale, "So God created man in his own image..." is a triumphal paean to the creative capacity of humankind and the work ends in Eden upon which the second-movement sun motif shines in splendor. The couplings are a Lisztian orchestral prelude from 1893 which describes the clash between the brutal forces of revenge (personified by the Furies) and the rule of justice, represented by Athena. The suite from Pélleas dates from 1900, predating both Sibelius and Debussy, containing "The Love of Pélleas for Mélisande", a passionate flood of rising desire, "Spinning Song", a delicate character-piece representing Mélisande's innocence and "The Death of Mélisande", a surprisingly extravagant expression of tormented grief. BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra; Martyn Brabbins. Original 1999 Hyperion release (12-001).