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Thread: Vincent d'Indy Orchestral works

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    Senior Member sdtom's Avatar
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    Default Vincent d'Indy Orchestral works

    ​I recently received volume six of the Chandos series of his orchestral works. What is the general opinion of d'Indy?

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    Senior Member Richannes Wrahms's Avatar
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    Old fashined, even when he tried to be modern.

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    Senior Member KenOC's Avatar
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    Never found much to interest me in d'Indy. Listening to his Clarinet Trio Op. 20 now. It sounds nice, but...


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    Senior Member sdtom's Avatar
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    "Symphony on a French Mountain Air" I've experienced in a live concert.

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    Sort of like a French Brahms, lots of talent but no real inspiration! (Or transpiration for that), sort of one foot in "light music" and the other without a firm grip! (He was a confirmed Wagnerite I believe) Had he been German, I think that his legacy would have been seen as slightly Kapellmeisterisch...

    /ptr
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    Quote Originally Posted by sdtom View Post
    ​I recently received volume six of the Chandos series of his orchestral works. What is the general opinion of d'Indy?
    Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

    You made it through 6 volumes?

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    Senior Member sdtom's Avatar
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    The releases were over 8 years and I've found some merit. He was a Wagnerite.

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    Not a top composer for me, no real highlights in his repertoire, but still worthwhile a spin occasionally. I have the same set.
    I treat my music like I treat my pets. It’s something to own, care about and curate with attention to detail. From a blog by hjr.

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    Senior Member sdtom's Avatar
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    I can still consider "Symphony on a French Mountain Air" one that stands out.

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    Quote Originally Posted by sdtom View Post
    I can still consider "Symphony on a French Mountain Air" one that stands out.
    One of the most lovable concertante works for piano and orchestra, in my opinion. I've never heard the Munch/Schweitzer/Boston recording, but would guess it's near authoritative.

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    I rather enjoy d'Indy, but much more in his early than in his later pieces. For me, highlights include the symphonic poems Istar, Wallenstein and particularly Le forêt enchanté. The oddly Saint-Saënsian First Symphony ("Italienne") is a very enjoyable work, and the Symphonie cénévole (sur un chant montagnard français) had earned a well-deserved spot as his best-known work. I haven't really studied d'Indy so most of this is conjecture, but my feeling is that in later years he got both more ambitious and less inspired. Post-1900 works like the last two symphonies, the Diptyque mediterranéen and Jour d'été à la montagne lack the melodic appeal, instrumental transparency and the lightness of touch that makes the earlier works so enjoyable.
    Last edited by iljajj; Jul-05-2015 at 11:12. Reason: spelling error

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    Senior Member Prodromides's Avatar
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    Cool

    Vincent d'Indy is the earliest composer within my sphere of interest.
    Most of my favorite composers were born during or after the 1860s (Koechlin, e.g.).
    Music written prior to the 1870s holds little-to-no interest to me, so d'Indy is (chronologically) the 'starting point' for me on the musical timeline/calendar. Not a favorite composer, d'Indy has nonetheless produced a number of works which I like (such as "Souvenirs", "Jour d'Ete a la Montagne", "Istar", "La Foret Enchantee", "Diptyque Mediterraneen" etc.)

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    Er, ho-hum isn't nearly good enough for D'Indy!

    He is one of the top French post-romantic composers, including Chausson, Ropartz, Magnard and others. A tremendous harmonist and orchestrator. I particularly like La forèt enchantée, Symphony No. 2 in Bb Major, Istar, Diptyque méditerranéen, and most of all Poème des rivages.
    Last edited by Roger Knox; Nov-26-2020 at 02:06.

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    Quote Originally Posted by iljajj View Post
    I rather enjoy d'Indy, but much more in his early than in his later pieces. For me, highlights include the symphonic poems Istar, Wallenstein and particularly Le forêt enchanté. The oddly Saint-Saënsian First Symphony ("Italienne") is a very enjoyable work, and the Symphonie cénévole (sur un chant montagnard français) had earned a well-deserved spot as his best-known work. I haven't really studied d'Indy so most of this is conjecture, but my feeling is that in later years he got both more ambitious and less inspired. Post-1900 works like the last two symphonies, the Diptyque mediterranéen and Jour d'été à la montagne lack the melodic appeal, instrumental transparency and the lightness of touch that makes the earlier works so enjoyable.
    I'm not intimately familiar with d'Indy's music, but I'd tend to agree with this based on what I've heard. The Symphony on a French Mountain Air is by far my favorite work of his, a gorgeously melodic work. (I also enjoy his Clarinet Trio, especially itslovely slow movement.) I listened to his Second Symphony recently and found it overall rather academic and unengaging.
    Last edited by kyjo; Nov-28-2020 at 05:42.

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    Quote Originally Posted by kyjo View Post
    I listened to his Second Symphony recently and found it overall rather academic and unengaging.
    I listened to it again yesterday and am still very fond of D'Indy's Second Symphony, also did some reading. I think the fugato for strings near the opening of the last movement is superb. The buildup of energy toward the end, and the great chorale, also. From my reading, one point of importance is that D'Indy's use of the cyclic principle is different than his teacher Franck's. While Franck would bring back themes from earlier movements in the finale, D'Indy would use motives from a theme, then vary them and use them in different ways throughout the work (which may contribute to a sense of academicism). At the same time his technically advanced style of French Wagner-influenced Romanticism shows great variety and originality in the harmonization, texture, and orchestration of passages (that I find appealing). D'Indy's Christianity is woven into his compositions, not as mysticism á la Tournemire or Messiaen, but according to his rather strict ideas related to Scholastic philosophy (Aquinas). He explains this in his Cours de composition complète. For a simple example, there is the battle of good and evil in a progression from darkness to light (orchestral works always beginning in the lowest register and ending with a blazing fortissimo in a high-register). I think D'Indy's tendency to rigidity became toxic in his anti-semitic attitudes and writings. That is one reason why his music does not get played or recorded by top orchestras.
    Last edited by Roger Knox; Dec-01-2020 at 22:50.

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