Rumon Gamba and the Iceland Symphony Orchestra follow their Grammy-nominated volume 1 and Editor's Choice winning Volume 2 with four rare orchestral works from Vincent D'Indy's legacy.
Composed in 1916-18 at the climax of the Great War, d'Indy's last symphony is a valid reflection of his intense patriotism. In its dramatic theatric and tonal conflicts it well portrays the heightened emotions of exaltation and terror experienced by the French nation. D'Indy's seven-variation programmatic work, Istar, Op.42 is a beautiful, flowing work set in the underworld and inspired by the sixth canto of an ancient Assyrian epic poem called Izdubar that was probably written around 2000 B.C.
The unconventionally conceived yet well integrated work Choral Varie for Saxophone Solo ans orchestra, Op.55 employs an eclectic variety of styles. Like certain other French composers such as Bizet, D'Indy well understood the saxophone's expressive potential. The solo role is taken by one of Iceland's most prominent musicians, Sigurður Flosason, who has twice been nominated for the Nordic Music Prize, and four time winner of the Icelandic Music Awards.
Volume 3 is completed by D'Indy's last orchestral work, Diptyque Mediterraneen, Op.87. It reflects the Indian summer which his happy second marriage brought him in his final decade. There is a certain similarity with the earlier Ardeche-inspired Jour d'ete a la montagne in its illustration of the sacred rhythms of nature during the course of the day, but here the influence of Debussy is clearly apparent in its superb Mediterranean-like clarity of texture.
Artistic Quality: 9 / Sound Quality: 9: '...this third volume in Chandos' ongoing series deserves a spot on your shelf.' Classicstoday.com
'In addition to the revelation that this disc is in terms of lesser known wonderful orchestral repertoire, this is a first class introduction to the talent of the Iceland Symphony and its gifted director, maestro Gamba. I had never heard this ensemble before and they play very well indeed! It is often a good strategy for a lesser known orchestra to showcase music that is not previously recorded and given great audio treatment, as Chandos does! The overall sound of this group is on a par with any of the top orchestras in the world and I would look forward to hearing what they can with some of the "big beasts" in the repertory. I was amply impressed and recommend that you do as I intend to - go get the first two discs in this rewarding trilogy.' Audiophile Audition
Performance / Recording BBC Music Magazine
'Following their first two much-praised discs, Rumon Gamba and the Iceland Symphony further champion the lushly colourful and impressionistic orchestral music of Vincent d'Indy. The core of this programme is a clearly argued and well-paced performance of the composer's Third Symphony. It's a fascinating work that mixes straighforward militaristic passages with a high-Romantic, 20th century language that's part Expressionist, part Impressionist. It's framed by three delicious tone-poems.' Classic FM Magazine
'... Vincent d'Indy wrote gorgeously expressive music that is scarcely played today. The Iceland SO and Rumon Gamba's excellent advocacy reminds us that he was a sensual orchestral colourist, at once French and Teutonic in style. This volume includes the erotic Istar, the eccentric but appealing Choral varie Op 55 with solo saxophone and the highly charged heroic Symphony No 3, quasi-militaristic and full of big nobilmente tunes. Bizarrely addictive.' The Observer