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DECCA

MARTIN: ORCHESTRAL WORKS - ANSERMET, ORCHESTRE DE LA SUISSE ROMANDE (2 CDS)

MARTIN: ORCHESTRAL WORKS - ANSERMET, ORCHESTRE DE LA SUISSE ROMANDE (2 CDS)

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Pierre Jamet (harp), Germaine Vaucher-Clerc (harpsichord), Doris Rossiaud (piano), Wolfgang Schneiderhan (violin), Jakob Stampfli (bass), Pierre Mollet (baritone), Marga Höffgen (contralto), Ernst Haefliger (tenor), Ursula Buckel (soprano)

Orchestre de la Suisse Romande, Choeur Des Dames De Lausanne, Union Chorale, Ernest Ansermet

Ernest Ansermet's complete Decca recordings of Frank Martin. The Swiss conductor regarded his countryman Frank Martin as one of the two great composers of his time. He rejected the atonal system of music as 'without musical meaning' and even, late in life, turned against Igor Stravinsky, whom he had championed earlier in his career. In a 1962 interview, he claimed that only Martin and Benjamin Britten were composing masterpieces: they 'do as well as they can in a troubled historical situation'. Ansermet was true to his word in both performing and recording the major works of Martin. On CD1 of this anthology are authoritative, superbly animated accounts of the composer's neo-classically structured instrumental masterpieces, the Petite symphonie concertante and the Concerto for seven wind instruments, timpani, percussion and string orchestra, as well as the less-often heard Études for string orchestra. CD2 opens with the Violin Concerto which Martin dedicated to the soloist on this recording, Wolfgang Schneiderhan, and the set is completed with Martin's wartime oratorio In terra pax. Ansermet gave the first performance of the oratorio in 1945, and he remains the most powerful advocate on record of this yearning plea for peace in desperately troubled times. This music was, in the words of the conductor, 'the expression of a faith; not because Martin set religious texts, among other things, to music - one can also do that without faith, and conversely, faith can be expressed in a fugue - but because if an impetus goes beyond simple symmetry, if it expands, and acquires a new momentum, it is because it is supported by a faith - and this is how Frank Martin's music behaves all the time, just like the music of Bach and Handel.'

 

 

Martin, F: Concerto for 7 wind instruments, timpani, percussion & string orchestra
Martin, F: Etudes for string orchestra
Martin, F: In terra pax
Martin, F: Petite Symphonie Concertante
Martin, F: Violin Concerto

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