Gounod: The complete works for pedal piano & orchestra
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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in Paris by Lucie Palicot during the winter of 1888–9, when the composer informs us it was encored, but it remains unpublished.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