Chansons et Danses, Op.50 for Wind Septet
(Flute , Oboe, 2 Clarinets, Horn & 2 Bassoons)
Chansons et Danses was the result of a commission from Paul Taffanel of the Societé des instruments à vent. d'Indy finished the work in the summer of 1898. The main subject of the Chansons calls Wagner’s Siegfried Idyll to mind, as does suavely animated second theme. Muted, fragments of both themes lead to an elegiac close. The Danses take the form of a simple rondo; an insistently attractive folk melody, chirping over a percolating accompaniment, is heard three times, each time more brilliantly, interwoven with serenely blithesome episodes, and rounded off, in good cyclic fashion, with a recall of the Chanson.
Vincent d’Indy (1851-1931) was born of aristocratic stock. His musical talent was recognized by his grandmother who raised him and saw that he received piano lessons from famous teachers. Despite this, he was sent to law school in Paris. Instead, D’Indy, who was intent on becoming a composer, joined a Parisian orchestra as a timpanist to learn music “from the ground up.” Both Massenet and Bizet were impressed by his early compositions and encouraged him to show his work to César Franck. Franck did not share their enthusiasm and was reputed to have told D’Indy, “You have ideas but you cannot do anything.” Apparently those ideas were enough, however, to convince Franck to show D’Indy how to do things, as he took the latter on as a pupil. Though D’Indy was to assimilate and be influenced by many different sources, Franck and his music left the most telling mark on him. D’Indy’s reputation, during his own lifetime was considerable, having founded, in 1900, what was to become the most important music school in France after the Paris Conservatory—The Schola Cantorum.
Parts & Score: $37.95