Author Topic: Sauguet's Sanctuary  (Read 2593 times)

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Offline vandermolen

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Sauguet's Sanctuary
« on: April 10, 2013, 04:56:57 AM »
Henri Sauguet (1901-1981) was a French composer whose first two symphonies ('Expiatoire' 1944 and 'Allegorique-Les Saisons' 1949) I find deeply moving. I can find no reference to him here but may have missed something. The 'Expiatoire' written to expiate his guilt at not being able to alleviate the suffering of his countrymen under the Nazi occupation in World War Two has a wonderful bell-like opening and deeply moving (in my view) conclusion and is a memorable work in every respect. I have just been discovering the partly choral Symphony No 2 and I love the orchestral section representing Winter. There is a minimalist aspect to this music which I find very haunting and also an endearing gentleness. He wrote four symphonies in total and I would definitely recommend No 1 and if you like that No.2. So, a strong recommendation for Henri Sauguet.


« Last Edit: April 10, 2013, 06:30:38 AM by vandermolen »
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Offline Mirror Image

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Re: Sauguet's Sanctuary
« Reply #1 on: April 10, 2013, 05:58:42 AM »
You missed one, Jeffrey!

"Music must be beautiful or it wouldn't be worth the effort.” - Bohuslav Martinů

Offline Mirror Image

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Re: Sauguet's Sanctuary
« Reply #2 on: April 10, 2013, 06:00:37 AM »
I own all three recordings pictured and haven't heard them in years. Sauguet also wrote a ton of ballet music. I wish some enterprising conductor/orchestra/record label would record more of Sauguet's music.
"Music must be beautiful or it wouldn't be worth the effort.” - Bohuslav Martinů

Offline springrite

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Re: Sauguet's Sanctuary
« Reply #3 on: April 10, 2013, 06:04:58 AM »
I just have the first two symphonies and love them both. I remember listening to them on my headphone during a train ride. Would have been better had it been an old fashioned steam engine train instead of the bullet train, but still appropriate setting for listening to these works!
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Offline vandermolen

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Re: Sauguet's Sanctuary
« Reply #4 on: April 10, 2013, 06:34:06 AM »
Thanks ever so much for the replies  :). I thought this might be a candidate for the GMG Forum Zero Response Award!  Actually I do have the CD with symphs 3 and 4 on but don't really know them - I shall rectify this soon. I realised that it was the 'Winter' section I loved most from Symphony No 2 (which I have on at the moment whilst painting the living room wall!)
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Offline Mirror Image

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Re: Sauguet's Sanctuary
« Reply #5 on: April 10, 2013, 06:38:03 AM »
If I remember correctly, Saguet's Symphonies 3 & 4 have a Neoclassical feel to them and a tougher harmonic/melodic language than these two symphonies' predecessors. They're still enjoyable works the best I can remember. It's always a fascinating thing to chart a composer's development through their symphonies.
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Offline AnthonyAthletic

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Re: Sauguet's Sanctuary
« Reply #6 on: April 10, 2013, 06:56:04 AM »
Beautiful music, I have all his Marco Polo symphonies.  Probably been about a year since the last playing.

That's what's great about this forum, persons posting and persons like myself reading and thinking...wow, must listen to them again tonight & tomorrow.  The forum, most of the time is like your own little "play" or "to do" list  :)

I'd go as far as saying his second is a masterpiece (certainly to my ears).  The first is very powerful with very moving themes.  The 3rd and 4th I would have to relisten as I've not heard them as much as the first two.
« Last Edit: April 10, 2013, 06:58:38 AM by AnthonyAthletic »

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Offline vandermolen

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Re: Sauguet's Sanctuary
« Reply #7 on: April 10, 2013, 09:20:18 AM »
Beautiful music, I have all his Marco Polo symphonies.  Probably been about a year since the last playing.

That's what's great about this forum, persons posting and persons like myself reading and thinking...wow, must listen to them again tonight & tomorrow.  The forum, most of the time is like your own little "play" or "to do" list  :)

I'd go as far as saying his second is a masterpiece (certainly to my ears).  The first is very powerful with very moving themes.  The 3rd and 4th I would have to relisten as I've not heard them as much as the first two.

Many thanks. Yes, the second has been a revelation to me. I think that I read a negative review of it (not here) which put me off. Taught me not to accept what the critics say!
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Offline Mirror Image

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Re: Sauguet's Sanctuary
« Reply #8 on: April 10, 2013, 09:40:59 AM »
I think that I read a negative review of it (not here) which put me off. Taught me not to accept what the critics say!

Exactly. With music, you have to go with your own intuition and what you feel inside of yourself.
"Music must be beautiful or it wouldn't be worth the effort.” - Bohuslav Martinů

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Re: Sauguet's Sanctuary
« Reply #9 on: April 10, 2013, 10:12:50 AM »
My next French Composer is going to have to be that old Landowski disc, I think. I travel pretty slow on New French Composers. I'd still have to go through Jolivet before I got to Sauguet.

Offline Mirror Image

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Re: Sauguet's Sanctuary
« Reply #10 on: April 10, 2013, 10:42:36 AM »
My next French Composer is going to have to be that old Landowski disc, I think. I travel pretty slow on New French Composers. I'd still have to go through Jolivet before I got to Sauguet.

I'm going to be working on Jolivet very soon. Landowski will have to wait a little while.
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Offline vandermolen

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Re: Sauguet's Sanctuary
« Reply #11 on: April 10, 2013, 10:49:46 AM »
Sauguet is buried next to Jolivet I think. Have listened to Sauguet's Second Symphony three times today (and it is not a short work!).

Here is Sauguet's grave next to that of Jolivet:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Tombe_Sauguet.jpg
« Last Edit: April 10, 2013, 10:52:09 AM by vandermolen »
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Offline Mirror Image

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Re: Sauguet's Sanctuary
« Reply #12 on: April 10, 2013, 10:53:34 AM »
I think I'll have to dig my Sauguet recordings out now and listen to Symphony No. 2 first. I remember it being incredibly beautiful.
"Music must be beautiful or it wouldn't be worth the effort.” - Bohuslav Martinů

Offline Mirror Image

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Re: Sauguet's Sanctuary
« Reply #13 on: April 10, 2013, 11:07:12 AM »
Listening to Symphony No. 2 right now. I don't care much for the choral sections, so I'm skipping them right away. The orchestral part of this symphony is quite beautiful. I think the choral parts should have been dropped or the poems should have simply been read by a narrator. That's my main criticism for this symphony so far.
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Offline Mirror Image

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Re: Sauguet's Sanctuary
« Reply #14 on: April 10, 2013, 11:21:44 AM »
That's it! I turned off this Sauguet symphony. The chorus just ruins the mood for me. It also doesn't help that they're not very well recorded and lack impact. The music is quite nice, but I won't be listening to this symphony or any symphony by Sauguet for a long time. Sorry to disagree with you about this symphony, Jeffrey, but I've heard better symphonies written by teenagers (Langgaard and Shostakovich both spring immediately to mind).
« Last Edit: April 10, 2013, 11:28:08 AM by Mirror Image »
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Offline vandermolen

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Re: Sauguet's Sanctuary
« Reply #15 on: April 10, 2013, 11:34:33 AM »
I also prefer the orchestral parts of Symphony No 2 but the complete work does work for me - also the choral sections are quite short! Listening to Symphony 4 now - quite different to 1 and 2 but am enjoying it - reminds me a bit of Honegger. I wonder John if you'll return to the 'Expiatoire' Symphony, which is my favourite.  I think that I was in the right reflective mood to listen to Symphony No 2. No need to be sorry John - on the contrary it's great to have your input.
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Re: Sauguet's Sanctuary
« Reply #16 on: April 10, 2013, 11:36:56 AM »
I also prefer the orchestral parts of Symphony No 2 but the complete work does work for me - also the choral sections are quite short! Listening to Symphony 4 now - quite different to 1 and 2 but am enjoying it - reminds me a bit of Honegger. I wonder John if you'll return to the 'Expiatoire' Symphony, which is my favourite.  I think that I was in the right reflective mood to listen to Symphony No 2. No need to be sorry John - on the contrary it's great to have your input.

I'll probably return at some point just not any time soon.
"Music must be beautiful or it wouldn't be worth the effort.” - Bohuslav Martinů

snyprrr

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Re: Sauguet's Sanctuary
« Reply #17 on: May 25, 2013, 08:29:43 AM »
I'm going to be working on Jolivet very soon. Landowski will have to wait a little while.

Well, this is the only Landowski sighting here, hmmm. I just picked up (finally!) that old Erato disc of Symphonies 1, 3, & 4. I could barely contain myself listening to the samples, so, hopefully all my expectations will be exceeded! I hear the are the closest things we have to Honegger's Symphonies 6-8, so I hoping to be pleasantly surprised.

This disc has been on the radar since, when?, the early '90s? Surely everyone here has at least passed it flipping through the racks at some point? ("Oh, THAT cd.")

Offline lescamil

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Re: Sauguet's Sanctuary
« Reply #18 on: May 25, 2013, 10:25:48 PM »
The only Landowski I know are his Piano Concerto and his Ondes Martenot Concerto, two works I can highly recommend. I've been meaning to try the symphonies.
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Re: Sauguet's Sanctuary
« Reply #19 on: May 26, 2013, 04:11:51 PM »
The only Landowski I know are his Piano Concerto and his Ondes Martenot Concerto, two works I can highly recommend. I've been meaning to try the symphonies.

You have that Koch disc of concertos? or...