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Gramophone reviews latest OF recording

The Orchestre de la Francophonie under Jean-Philippe Tremblay perform it and the overtures more than capably, and with affection. Excellent sound, as usual.

gramophone.co.uk · by Author: Guy Rickards

ICHMOURATOV Symphony ‘On the Ruins of an Ancient Fort’

Tracks:

Youth’ Overture Airat Ichmouratov, Composer
Jean-Philippe Tremblay, Conductor 
Orchestre de la Francophonie 

‘Maslenitsa’ Overture Airat Ichmouratov, Composer
Jean-Philippe Tremblay, Conductor 
Orchestre de la Francophonie 

Symphony ‘On the Ruins of an Ancient Fort’ Airat Ichmouratov, Composer
Jean-Philippe Tremblay, Conductor 
Orchestre de la Francophonie 

At almost 14 minutes, Youth is a touch overlong, a fault he avoided in the other overture here, Maslenitsa (2016). The title translates as ‘Pancake Week’ and refers to the week-long pre-Lent festival in the Orthodox calendar. A vibrantly orchestrated homage to Glinka and Mussorgsky, a little after four minutes in there is an imaginatively scored passage that reminded me of the Sibelius of the theatre scores, before the music transmutes seamlessly into Ichmouratov’s standard manner.

The Symphony in A minor, On the Ruins of an Ancient Fort, is an example of Ichmouratov drawing inspiration from his adoptive homeland, the edifice in question being Fort Longueil. Commissioned by the Longueil Symphony Orchestra, the symphony is colourful and descriptive rather after the manner of, say, Kalinnikov or Steinberg, a touch prolix in places (it runs here past 47 minutes in duration). Attractive if not great music, the first three movements evoke in turn the 17th-century fort (and its commander, Baron de Longueil), the bustling modern city and the founder of the local convent, Mother Marie-Rose Durocher (as well as the composer’s then recently deceased mother); the finale gathers up the various expressive threads. Composed in 2015-17, composition dates of a century earlier would not have surprised me. The Orchestre de la Francophonie under Jean-Philippe Tremblay perform it and the overtures more than capably, and with affection. Excellent sound, as usual.

Symphony ‘On the Ruins of an Ancient Fort’

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