CHARLES KOECHLIN (1867-1950): The Seven Stars Symphony, Op. 132, Vers la voûte étoilée, Op. 129.
Catalogue Number: 06X002
Description: Music by the marvelous, criminally underrated composer and “Aural Alchemist” Charles Koechlin is always a discovery and invariably. “Koechlin can daub with notes as Seurat daubed with bright pigments on canvas [he] could, whenever he wished, bathe his music in the impressionist glories of Debussy and Ravel or give it the delicacy of Fauré and then toughen it up with some Roussel-like grinding rhythms.” (Robert Reilly - “Surprised by Beauty: A Listener's Guide to the Recovery of Modern Music”) He is an impressionist dreamboat. With a title like The Seven Stars Symphony and following so closely on the heels of the equally enchantingly Impressionist “Toward the Vault of the Stars” (1933 but not performed until 1989), you’d think the work was some spectacular colorist bonanza of celestial ambitions. Actually, it’s Koechlin’s ode to his favorite film stars (Douglas Fairbanks, Lilian Harvey, Greta Garbo, Clara Bow, Marlene Dietrich, Emil Jannings and Charlie Chaplin) – a work that is, as per Gramophone’s Andrew Achenbach, in his review of the 1996 RCA recording by James Judd and the Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin, full “of exquisite delicacy and exotic capriciousness … other-worldly, icy radiance allied to a ravishing luminosity … flashing brilliance … tender meditation, [as well as] witty, affectionate, provocative and deeply compassionate.” Basel Symphony Orchestra; Ariane Matiakh.