Though hampered by the lack of formal musical training, attorney-by-day Emmanuel Chabrier emerged as a brilliant, self-taught composer whose instinctively colorful sensibility helped shape French Impressionism. Discovered among the composer's effects after his death, the Larghetto is cast as the French horn equivalent of an operatic aria. Chabrier employs the instrument in particularly lyrical fashion; listeners may easily imagine this work as a doleful lament sung by an alto or a tenor. The work is so achingly expressive, in fact, one wonders whether Chabrier had some particular theme or event in mind. Rich, detailed orchestration supports the horn's melodic line; near the end, the horn engages in dialogue with members of the ensemble, first with a cello, then a clarinet. These exchanges suggest the passage of sad words between loved ones; perhaps as he penned this work, one of his last, Chabrier was bidding adieu to his own life.
Description by Michael Morrison
|2014||Navona Records||NV 5983|
|2011||Pilfink Records||JJVCD 86|
|2010||EMI Classics / Warner Classics||50999906820|
|1996||Deutsche Grammophon||447 751-2GH|
|1994||Crystal Records Dist.||377|