Hyperion Records

Danse roumaine
1888; for pedal piano and orchestra; written for Lucie Palicot who gave the first performance in Paris in the winter of 1888/9

'Gounod: The complete works for pedal piano & orchestra' (CDA67975)
Gounod: The complete works for pedal piano & orchestra
Buy by post £10.50 CDA67975  Studio Master FLAC & ALAC downloads available
Track 10 on CDA67975 [4'32]

Danse roumaine
On 4 September 1888 Gounod wrote to his wife: ‘All at once I have come up with two pieces that will do nicely for my little Palicote [sic] this winter: one is a Chorale and Toccata [this has not been not located], the other a concertante Danse roumaine with orchestra that will fill out her repertoire somewhat, and I am sure that our good Mme Desgenétais will give her the opportunity to play them at her soirées.’ One hesitates to link this inspiration with the advent of a ravishingly beautiful Romanian singer, Hariclea Darclée, who was scheduled to sing Juliette at the Opéra.

The Danse roumaine was premiered in Paris by Lucie Palicot during the winter of 1888–9, when the composer informs us it was encored, but it remains unpublished. The work is cast in sonata form with an orchestral introduction that outlines the themes. Then a furious toccata for pedal-board alone sweeps the orchestra along with it, and the first theme—a simple cell, energetic and piquant, in D minor without leading note—makes its appearance. It has a whiff of eastern Europe about it, no more than that. Modulating variations lead to the second theme, which runs up and down the scale of F major in dotted rhythms, supported by a viola countermelody.

A furious outburst from the piano launches the development: a folk-like motif combining woodwind and percussion frames further exchanges on the opening motif of the first theme; the latter’s reappearance heralds a recapitulation in which the second theme, introduced by trumpet calls, undergoes considerable development until the advent of a vigorous coda.

from notes by Gérard Condé © 2013
English: Charles Johnston

Track-specific metadata
Details for CDA67975 track 10
Recording date
26 October 2012
Recording venue
Auditorio Stelio Molo, Lugano, Switzerland
Recording producer
Ben Connellan
Recording engineer
Michael Rast
Hyperion usage
  1. Gounod: The complete works for pedal piano & orchestra (CDA67975)
    Disc 1 Track 10
    Release date: November 2013
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