When she required it, Chaminade could certainly summon up the grand manner, and nowhere to greater effect than in Au pays dévasté
. Here there is no thought of entertainment. Published in 1919, this ‘devastated landscape’ is unmistakably a war elegy such as we find in some of Debussy’s last piano music, though its bleak and deeply felt G minor lamentation is couched in an idiom more Romantic than Impressionist. Superbly constructed, and lingering long in the memory, this powerful work deserves to be much better known.
from notes by Calum MacDonald © 1994