1896: Dukas: Symphony in C major

WEDNESDAY, September 23, 2020 – 8:47 PM

Dukas: Symphony in C major, age 30

The symphony was written in 1896, when Dukas was 30, and was premiered on January 3, 1897, with Paul Vidal conducting.

This is the man conducting this, HERE, and I like how he is doing this.

  • I. Allegro non troppo vivace, ma con fuoco, C major: I was researching Dukas because of his “Sorcerer’s Apprentice”. I don’t know this symphony, and I don’t know why. This movement is really good. There is something about French symphonic writing that is unique. This reminds me of Franck. I will be listening to this again.
  • II. Andante espressivo e sostenuto, E minor, C major, B major, E minor: There are actually more keys visited than it shows above. This whole thing just has a nice feel to it, and there is a great passage, slow, again showcasing augmented chords, though not nearly as obvious as in his “Sorcerer’s Apprentice”. I actually want this recording, but it’s expensive.
  • III. Finale. Allegro spiritoso, C major: There is another similarity to Franck: he only wrote three movements as did Franck. Franck was born 43 years earlier, so why is there such similarity? Then answer is in the timing. Franck wrote is famous symphony, his only symphony, very shortly before his death, somewhere between 1886 and 1888. So this symphony by Dukas, written in 1895, did not appear much later, and it is likely Dukas knew Franck. Well, DUH! I just read that Franck was one of his teachers. So that’s what I’m hearing. I get 10 points for my ear and -10 for my knowledge of music history.

Instrumentation:

  • three flutes (the third doubling piccolo), two oboes (the first doubling cor anglais), two clarinets in B-flat and A, two bassoons
  • four French horns in F (third and fourth also in E), two trumpets in F, piccolo trumpet in D, three trombones, tuba, timpani
  • strings

 

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