Andrew von Oeyen / Emmanuel Villaume / Prague Philharmonia

Ravel: Ma Mère l'Oye; Debussy: Fantasie; Bizet: Symphony in C

  • AllMusic Rating
    9
  • User Ratings (0)
  • Your Rating

AllMusic Review by James Manheim

Eastern European orchestras often have an affinity for French music, and the PKF-Prague Philharmonia (awkwardly named, it's true) is in its element here, led by French conductor Emmanuel Villaume. Buyers might pick this album based on any one of the three compositions, and the group of strong performances of all three makes it really notable. The main attraction comes first, in the form of the orchestral version of Ravel's Ma mère l'Oye Suite, or Mother Goose Suite, whose humor is effectively rendered. The rarest of the three pieces is the Fantaisie for piano and orchestra of Debussy, the composer's only work for piano and orchestra. It's from early in Debussy's career, in the classical three-movement form, and the trick, expertly executed by pianist Andrew von Oeyen, is to catch the incipient mature Debussy bubbling under the surface. Sample the first movement, where all the student moves to a new theme are in place, but the music then stalls as Debussy begins to realize the possibilities of stasis. The best is saved for last: Bizet's Symphony in C major, written when the composer was 17, is clean and zippy, full of youthful energy. This is a top choice for this work, which is not rare, but of which good recordings are not abundant. Warner Classics deserves praise for delving into some little-known repertory and making it click here. Complaints are few. The graphics put Debussy's death year as 1928. One wishes he had lived that long.

Track Listing

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time Stream
Ma mère I'Oye suite
1 Andrew von Oeyen / Prague Philharmonia / Emmanuel Villaume 01:41 Amazon
2 Andrew von Oeyen / Prague Philharmonia / Emmanuel Villaume 03:37 Amazon
3 Andrew von Oeyen / Prague Philharmonia / Emmanuel Villaume 03:23 Amazon
4 Andrew von Oeyen / Prague Philharmonia / Emmanuel Villaume 04:02 Amazon
5 Andrew von Oeyen / Prague Philharmonia / Emmanuel Villaume 03:54 Amazon
Fantaisie for piano and orchestra (revised version)
6 Andrew von Oeyen / Prague Philharmonia / Emmanuel Villaume 07:30 Amazon
7 Andrew von Oeyen / Prague Philharmonia / Emmanuel Villaume 07:32 Amazon
8 Andrew von Oeyen / Prague Philharmonia / Emmanuel Villaume 06:39 Amazon
Symphony in C
9 Andrew von Oeyen / Prague Philharmonia / Emmanuel Villaume 09:51 Amazon
10 Andrew von Oeyen / Prague Philharmonia / Emmanuel Villaume 09:57 Amazon
11 Andrew von Oeyen / Prague Philharmonia / Emmanuel Villaume 05:00 Amazon
12 Andrew von Oeyen / Prague Philharmonia / Emmanuel Villaume 08:52 Amazon
blue highlight denotes track pick