City of Light: New Discoveries (PFNSCD005) £10/£15
Cardiff University Symphony Orchestra and Chorus, conductor Mark Eager
Claude Debussy: Prélude à l’Histoire de Tristan (reconstructed by Robert Orledge, 2011)
André Jolivet: Poèmes intimes (1944)
Robert Fokkens: Ukuhamba kukufunda - To travel is to learn (2013, revised 2015)
Claude Debussy: No-ja-la ou le Palais du silence (1914; reconstructed by Robert Orledge 2005, revised 2012 & 2014)
"The novelty that really made me excited this week was Debussy’s Chinese ballet score “No-ja-la” – another unfinished work, originally earmarked for a 1914 London stage revue, more recently restored to life in a brilliantly effective reconstruction by Robert Orledge. Its première performance by excellent Cardiff University forces is the highlight of “City of Light: New Discoveries” (Prima Facie, ****)." - Geoff Brown, The Times.
City of Light is the title borrowed from the Philharmonia Orchestra’s landmark international festival of French music in which the works by Debussy and Jolivet featured in this recording received their world and UK première performances by the Cardiff University Symphony Orchestra under Principal Conductor Mark Eager. With Caroline Rae as Series Advisor to the City of Light: Paris 1900-1950 festival, a partnership was forged between the Philharmonia Orchestra and Cardiff University that resulted in a series of Cardiff City of Light events running in tandem with the London-based festival. Through Caroline Rae’s innovative programming a truly historic event took place in Cardiff on 27 March 2015: the world première performances of no fewer than two works by Debussy, his orchestral Prélude à l’Histoire de Tristan and ballet No-ja-li ou le Palais du silence in completions by Robert Orledge, and the UK premiere of Jolivet’s beguiling love tryst, Poèmes intimes, in its version for baritone and orchestra. We are indebted to the scholar Robert Orledge whose work in realising the Debussy scores has made their performance possible. These exceptional new musical discoveries are captured here in their world and UK premiere recordings. To them is added a new work by Cardiff-based composer Robert Fokkens whose scintillating African- inspired eclecticism links with Ravel as part of our wider exploration of the French fascination for colour and timbre.
Cardiff University Symphony Orchestra and Chorus
Conductor Mark Eager
Jeremy Huw Williams baritone
Stephen Walsh narrator
Mark is Principal Conductor and Artistic Director of The Welsh Sinfonia, Wales’ premier professional chamber orchestra. With them he has conducted a number of new commissions, including works by David Matthews, Rhian Samuel, Michael Csányi-Wills and Roxanna Panufnik. Reviews have praised him for his “intelligently conducted, vibrant performances” (musicweb international). As Principal Conductor of Cardiff University Symphony Orchestra, as well as enjoying an acclaimed international profile with regular tours to Australia in particular, Mark relishes the thrill of inspiring young people and professionals alike to greater music making.