Clair de Lune / Waldteufel Waltzes
Raymond Agoult
Label
Decca
Catalogue No.
4827339
Barcode
00028948273393
Format
2-CD
About

Three Decca albums of popular Romantic classics, remastered complete for CD and compiled for the first time.

Recorded at London’s Kingsway Hall early in 1957 and first released in the US by RCA Victor, ‘Overtures in Spades’ was a collection of operatic openers that enjoyed more popular currency then than they do now: Suppé’s ‘Light Cavalry’ still features on radio playlists, less so his overtures to ‘Morning, Noon and Night in Vienna’ or ‘The Queen of Spades’.  While three, 19th-century pieces of polished craftsmanship by Adam, Auber and Hérold are hardly known today.

Reissued as ‘Overture! Overture!’ the album took another 12 years to be incorporated within the Decca catalogue, though the reviewers had enjoyed the dynamic Decca sound of the original recording as well as the full-bodied, exciting performances of a London studio band under the directorship of Raymond Agoult, a seasoned, Hungarian-born conductor of popular and light classics.

In 1958, Agoult and the New Symphony Orchestra made a second record for RCA/Decca – ‘Clair de lune’, featuring gentle Andantes and tender Adagios – by the likes of Debussy, Elgar, Tchaikovsky and Massenet. Newly remastered from the original tapes both albums are coupled on this Eloquence reissue with a rare LP of Waldteufel waltzes under the direction of another experienced, British-based session musician, the Australian-born, Douglas Gamley. Waldteufel’s art lay in combining the easygoing feel and nostalgic pull of the Viennese waltz with a more brilliant, French style of orchestration: a synthesis that endeared him to English audiences in particular. This collection fills out a portrait of the composer beyond the ubiquitous ‘Skaters’ Waltz’, to present six further waltzes and a ‘Grenadiers March’ scored with surprising delicacy.

TRACK LISTING / ARTISTS

CD 1
JULES MASSENET: Méditation
PYOTR ILYICH TCHAIKOVSKY: Chant sans paroles*
GABRIEL FAURÉ: Pavane
EDWARD ELGAR: Dream Children
CLAUDE DEBUSSY: Clair de lune (orch. Mouton)*
JOHANN SEBASTIAN BACH–BANTOCK: Wachet auf, ruft uns die Stimme
PYOTR ILYICH TCHAIKOVSKY: Andante cantabile
CHRISTOPH WILLIBALD GLUCK: Dance of the Blessed Spirits*
JULES MASSENET: Le dernier sommeil de la Vierge
ADOLPHE ADAM: Si j’étais roi – Overture
DANIEL AUBER: Les Diamants de la couronne – Overture°

CD 2
FRANZ VON SUPPÉ:
Die leichte Kavallerie – Overture
Ein Morgen, ein Mittag, ein Abend in Wien – Overture*
Pique Dame – Overture*
FERDINAND HÉROLD: Zampa – Overture*
New Symphony Orchestra of London
Raymond Agoult

ÉMILE WALDTEUFEL
Les Patineurs – Waltz
Mon rêve – Waltz
Toujours ou jamais – Waltz
Les Grenadiers – Valse militaire
España
Dolorès
Pomone – Waltz
National Philharmonic Orchestra
Douglas Gamley

*FIRST CD RELEASE ON DECCA
°PREVIOUSLY UNRELEASED ON DECCA

Track previews
Mon rêve, waltz, Op. 151
Morning, Noon and Night in Vienna
Suite bergamasque, L.75 - Orch. Henri Pierre Edouard Mouton: Clair de lune
Dream Children, Op. 43
Pavane, Op. 50
Chant sans paroles, Op. 2, No. 3
Thais: Meditation
The Skaters Waltz, Op. 183 (Les Patineurs)
Zampa: Overture
Overture "Pique Dame"
Light Cavalry
Toujours ou jamais - waltz, Op. 156
Les diamants de la couronne: Overture
Si j'étais roi: Overture
La Vierge / Scene 4: The Assumption: Le dernier sommeil de la Vièrge (The Last Sleep of the Virgin)
Orfeo ed Euridice: Ballo (Andante)
String Quartet No. 1 in D, Op. 11 - orchestral version: 2. Andante cantabile
Pomone - waltz, Op. 155
Dolorès, Op. 170
España, Op. 236
Les Grenadiers - valse militaire, Op. 207
Wachet auf, ruft uns die Stimme, BWV 645 ('Sleepers, awake')
Recording information

Recording Producers: James Walker, Erik Smith (Adam, Auber, Hérold, Suppé); Michael Williamson (Massenet, Tchaikovsky, Fauré, Elgar, Debussy, Bach, Gluck); Michael Woolcock (Waldteufel)
Balance Engineers: Kenneth Wilkinson, Cyril Windebank (Adam, Auber, Hérold, Suppé); Kenneth Wilkinson (Massenet, Tchaikovsky, Fauré, Elgar, Debussy, Bach, Gluck); Philip Wade, Peter van Biene (Waldteufel)
Recording Locations: Kingsway Hall, London, UK, 9 January & 5 February 1957 (Adam, Auber, Hérold, Suppé), 26 & 30 April 1974 (Waldteufel); Walthamstow Assembly Hall, London, UK, 28–31 May 1958 (Massenet, Tchaikovsky, Fauré, Elgar, Debussy, Bach, Gluck)
Remastering Engineer: Chris Bernauer
Original Decca Releases: SXL 6704 (Waldteufel); SPA 184 (Adam, Suppé); SPA 111 (Massenet, Tchaikovsky, Fauré, Elgar, Debussy, Bach, Gluck; released in the US on London STS 15160); Auber previously unreleased on Decca

Reviews

‘The recording … is a humdinger, with a resounding lower region, unbelievably powerful dynamics, excellent balance and marvellously sweet string tone.’ High Fidelity, August 1958 (Overtures in Spades)

‘There is plenty of care and musical feeling in the performances … Particularly successful are the ‘Méditation’, the ‘Andante cantabile’ and the ‘Dernier sommeil’, in all of which the intense but really quiet string playing is highly commendable.’ Gramophone, June 1960 (Clair de lune)

‘The playing has marvellous life and flair and its spirit is essentially French … the National Philharmonic in spanking form.’ Gramophone, October 1982 (Waldteufel)