Author Topic: Sauguet's Sanctum (Henri Sauguet 1901-1989)  (Read 4351 times)

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Online vandermolen

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Sauguet's Sanctum (Henri Sauguet 1901-1989)
« on: October 30, 2014, 01:48:56 AM »
Nothing here apparently on this fine composer, whose first symphony. 'Expiatoire ' (1944) is one of my favourite symphonies. He wrote it to expiate a sense of guilt at having not been able to alleviate the suffering of his countrymen during the Nazi occupation of France in World War Two. I find it to be a hauntingly beautiful work, although indifferently reviewed at the time of its original release. There is some suggestion that Antonio de Almeida's performance has less urgency than it should have but, as far as I can see there is no alternative. There is a poignant sadness and compassion about Sauget's Symphony which I have found very appealing. Although better known I think for ballet music (see wiki entry below) the 'Expiatoire' is tragic and moving. More recently I have been listening to the epic Symphony 2 'Allegorique - Les Saisons', which stretches over two CDs ( but at the moment can be picked up cheaply second-hand on Amazon UK). This may not be everyone's cup,of tea but I enjoy it increasingly. It has choral introductions to all the movement, which represent all the seasons. There is a characteristically soulful and compassionate motto theme which I find very endearing. Well worth exploring if you don't know it.

Here is the opening of Symphony 1:
https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=p2JdBzxcBd4



http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Henri_Sauguet
« Last Edit: October 30, 2014, 02:20:05 PM by vandermolen »
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Offline cilgwyn

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Re: Sauguet's Sanctum (Henri Sauguet 1901-1989)
« Reply #1 on: October 31, 2014, 04:09:08 AM »
Thank you for these posts,vandermolen. I have been wondering about these symphonies. Thec only problem is the lack of room here for more cds. Maybe a Heath Robinson contraption so I can sort of sleep in a sort of hammock above them?! :( ??? ;D

Ken B

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Re: Sauguet's Sanctum (Henri Sauguet 1901-1989)
« Reply #2 on: October 31, 2014, 06:25:15 AM »
Nothing here apparently on this fine composer, whose first symphony. 'Expiatoire ' (1944) is one of my favourite symphonies. He wrote it to expiate a sense of guilt at having not been able to alleviate the suffering of his countrymen during the Nazi occupation of France in World War Two. I find it to be a hauntingly beautiful work, although indifferently reviewed at the time of its original release. There is some suggestion that Antonio de Almeida's performance has less urgency than it should have but, as far as I can see there is no alternative. There is a poignant sadness and compassion about Sauget's Symphony which I have found very appealing. Although better known I think for ballet music (see wiki entry below) the 'Expiatoire' is tragic and moving. More recently I have been listening to the epic Symphony 2 'Allegorique - Les Saisons', which stretches over two CDs ( but at the moment can be picked up cheaply second-hand on Amazon UK). This may not be everyone's cup,of tea but I enjoy it increasingly. It has choral introductions to all the movement, which represent all the seasons. There is a characteristically soulful and compassionate motto theme which I find very endearing. Well worth exploring if you don't know it.

Here is the opening of Symphony 1:
https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=p2JdBzxcBd4



http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Henri_Sauguet

Very nice. I need to hunt down more. If I'm going to have him in my sig line I should listen to him  8)

ZauberdrachenNr.7

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Re: Sauguet's Sanctum (Henri Sauguet 1901-1989)
« Reply #3 on: October 31, 2014, 06:46:19 AM »
I first heard him through his solo piano work, which my wife and I both enjoy immensely.  It was about all we listened to one summer - warmly recommended.

Of the symphonies, I have and have heard only the second, also appreciated.

Interestingly, that is not his surname - it's his mom's; he used it because he didn't want to embarrass his father with his "modern music!"


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Re: Sauguet's Sanctum (Henri Sauguet 1901-1989)
« Reply #4 on: October 31, 2014, 06:57:32 AM »
I love both symphonies immensely, maybe the first even more so than the more famous second.

I should hunt down the piano music, maybe.
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ZauberdrachenNr.7

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Re: Sauguet's Sanctum (Henri Sauguet 1901-1989)
« Reply #5 on: October 31, 2014, 09:19:16 AM »
I love both symphonies immensely, maybe the first even more so than the more famous second.

I should hunt down the piano music, maybe.

I hope it will not disappoint - the piano music was done in his early years and is by no means profound. Often wistful, no angst.  Refreshing, actually, very melodic, limpid and life-loving.  His most famous work is Les Forains, (carnies) a ballet, heard once through the ether.  I see the recording I heard is on Youtube.  It may surpise, it did me: 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EiL4BZLtIOo

Online vandermolen

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Re: Sauguet's Sanctum (Henri Sauguet 1901-1989)
« Reply #6 on: October 31, 2014, 10:02:48 AM »
Thank you for these posts,vandermolen. I have been wondering about these symphonies. Thec only problem is the lack of room here for more cds. Maybe a Heath Robinson contraption so I can sort of sleep in a sort of hammock above them?! :( ??? ;D

Well, thank you at least for replying. I thought that this would sink without trace.  :)

The 'Expiatoire' is well worth exploring in my view - surely there is room for one more CD.  8)
"Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm" (Churchill).

Online vandermolen

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Re: Sauguet's Sanctum (Henri Sauguet 1901-1989)
« Reply #7 on: October 31, 2014, 10:03:24 AM »
Very nice. I need to hunt down more. If I'm going to have him in my sig line I should listen to him  8)

Thank you!
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Online vandermolen

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Re: Sauguet's Sanctum (Henri Sauguet 1901-1989)
« Reply #8 on: October 31, 2014, 10:08:35 AM »
I first heard him through his solo piano work, which my wife and I both enjoy immensely.  It was about all we listened to one summer - warmly recommended.

Of the symphonies, I have and have heard only the second, also appreciated.

Interestingly, that is not his surname - it's his mom's; he used it because he didn't want to embarrass his father with his "modern music!"

Thank you very much for alerting me to the piano music which I don't know at all. The Marco Polo notes go into quite some detail about Sauguet's troubled early life. Yes, the relationship with the father was evidently difficult as the father completely opposed his plans to be a musician. Furthermore Sauguet was bullied in the Army, humiliated by being forced to clean out the toilets, presumably as he was initially rejected from military service due to 'incurable weakness'. I suspect that much of this experience finds musical expression in the 'Expiatoire' Symphony. Looking at some of the photos of Sauguet on the front of CDs he evidently liked cats which is something else which endears him to me!
« Last Edit: October 31, 2014, 11:59:42 AM by vandermolen »
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Online vandermolen

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Re: Sauguet's Sanctum (Henri Sauguet 1901-1989)
« Reply #9 on: October 31, 2014, 10:09:59 AM »
I love both symphonies immensely, maybe the first even more so than the more famous second.

I should hunt down the piano music, maybe.

Yes, me too. I love the First Symphony ( your daughter is growing up!  :))
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Offline ritter

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Re: Sauguet's Sanctum (Henri Sauguet 1901-1989)
« Reply #10 on: October 31, 2014, 12:33:28 PM »
There's also Sauguet's opera Les Caprices de Marianne, from 1956, based on Alfred de Musset. A recording with a rather distinguished cast is available:



It's an atmospheric work, tinged with nostalgia, and that's possibly its only redeeming feature. I'd say this piece was probably démodé even before it was first performed...Sauguet seems to be looking to revive some sort of interwar French esprit, but unfortunately without the talent of the composers that did the "real thing" when it was original...

I can't join in the enthusiasm for Sauguet's music  :-[...by any standard, a minor figure, derivative in the strictest sense of the word.

I'v always thought that Sauguet is to 20th century French music what Jean Dufy was to painting...

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Re: Sauguet's Sanctum (Henri Sauguet 1901-1989)
« Reply #11 on: October 31, 2014, 01:23:22 PM »
I'v always thought that Sauguet is to 20th century French music what Jean Dufy was to painting...
I agree, they both have one thing in common - they are completely unknown to me.  :P  :-X
There isn't even an English Wikipedia article on Dufy  ???
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Online vandermolen

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Re: Sauguet's Sanctum (Henri Sauguet 1901-1989)
« Reply #12 on: October 31, 2014, 01:26:26 PM »
There's also Sauguet's opera Les Caprices de Marianne, from 1956, based on Alfred de Musset. A recording with a rather distinguished cast is available:



It's an atmospheric work, tinged with nostalgia, and that's possibly its only redeeming feature. I'd say this piece was probably démodé even before it was first performed...Sauguet seems to be looking to revive some sort of interwar French esprit, but unfortunately without the talent of the composers that did the "real thing" when it was original...

I can't join in the enthusiasm for Sauguet's music  :-[...by any standard, a minor figure, derivative in the strictest sense of the word.

I'v always thought that Sauguet is to 20th century French music what Jean Dufy was to painting...

Thanks, although I have to say that I did not find the Expiatoire Symphony to be derivative at all. I also feel that there is much more depth to Sauguet's music than to Dufy's painting. Sauguet ( in symphonies 1 and 2 at least) reminds me more of Georges Rouault in this respect. The Expiatoire, in my view, is shot through with the same kind of compassion for suffering humanity that can be found in Rouault's painting. Sure, Sauguet is not a major figure but I find that there is more depth to the music I have heard than is sometimes the case with more highly regarded composers.
"Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm" (Churchill).

Offline ritter

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Re: Sauguet's Sanctum (Henri Sauguet 1901-1989)
« Reply #13 on: October 31, 2014, 01:36:57 PM »
I agree, they both have one thing in common - they are completely unknown to me.  :P  :-X
There isn't even an English Wikipedia article on Dufy  ???
Good evening, Karlo! Jean Dufy was Raoul's younger brother (the older brother being the dedicatee of Stravinsky's Double canon for string quartet).

Thanks, although I have to say that I did not find the Expiatoire Symphony to be derivative at all. I also feel that there is much more depth to Sauguet's music than to Dufy's painting. Sauguet ( in symphonies 1 and 2 at least) reminds me more of Georges Rouault in this respect. The Expiatoire, in my view, is shot through with the same kind of compassion for suffering humanity that can be found in Rouault's painting. Sure, Sauguet is not a major figure but I find that there is more depth to the music I have heard than is sometimes the case with more highly regarded composers.
Good to know, vandermolen...perhaps he somehow mellowed form 1944 to 1956, so I should explore that First symphony.  I'll also relisten to his Diaghilev ballet La Chatte, that I have in this CD (but which didn't leave much of an impression when I first approached it):



Cheers,
« Last Edit: October 31, 2014, 01:44:49 PM by ritter »
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Re: Sauguet's Sanctum (Henri Sauguet 1901-1989)
« Reply #14 on: October 31, 2014, 01:44:16 PM »
Good evening, Karlo! Jean Dufy was Raoul's younger brother (the older brother being the dedicatee of Stravinsky's Double canon for string quartet).

Cheers,
Good evening to you too, Rafael!
Shows how much I know about art history, Raoul is also a new name to me, as is Rouault, whom Jeffrey mentioned. There's another musical connection, as Rouault created the designs for Prodigal Son, the Balanchine/Prokofiev ballet..
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Re: Sauguet's Sanctum (Henri Sauguet 1901-1989)
« Reply #15 on: October 31, 2014, 01:48:52 PM »
Good evening, Karlo! Jean Dufy was Raoul's younger brother (the older brother being the dedicatee of Stravinsky's Double canon for string quartet).
 Good to know, vandermolen...perhaps he somehow mellowed form 1944 to 1956, so I should explore that First symphony.  I'll also relisten to his Diaghilev ballet La Chatte, that I have in this CD (but which didn't leave much of an impression when I first approached it):



Cheers,

Thanks again. It may be that the Expiatoire is not entirely characteristic and certainly other reviews of Sauguet's movement suggest a lighter-weight aspect to the music. I guess that the Expiatoire was born out of Sauguet's personal anguish and compassion for his countrymen during the wartime occupation. Apparently he used whatever influence he had to try to help his Jewish colleagues, one of whom died in a concentration camp.
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Re: Sauguet's Sanctum (Henri Sauguet 1901-1989)
« Reply #16 on: October 31, 2014, 01:51:01 PM »
Good evening to you too, Rafael!
Shows how much I know about art history, Raoul is also a new name to me, as is Rouault, whom Jeffrey mentioned. There's another musical connection, as Rouault created the designs for Prodigal Son, the Balanchine/Prokofiev ballet..

OT Rouault is one of my favourite painters. The paintings look like stained glass windows and have great depth and compassion. He painted clowns, prostitutes and religious scenes.
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Re: Sauguet's Sanctum (Henri Sauguet 1901-1989)
« Reply #17 on: October 31, 2014, 02:05:40 PM »
OT Rouault is one of my favourite painters. The paintings look like stained glass windows and have great depth and compassion. He painted clowns, prostitutes and religious scenes.
Yes, looking at them now, agred with what you say. Lots of paint, showing the influence of religious art, stained glass in particular.
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Re: Sauguet's Sanctum (Henri Sauguet 1901-1989)
« Reply #18 on: October 31, 2014, 02:22:57 PM »
Yes, looking at them now, agred with what you say. Lots of paint, showing the influence of religious art, stained glass in particular.

Glad you like them too. I find his work very moving. His dates are similar to those of the composer Vaughan Williams.
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Re: Sauguet's Sanctum (Henri Sauguet 1901-1989)
« Reply #19 on: November 02, 2014, 01:12:33 PM »
More Sauguet - albeit in often dated recordings - can be found on You Tube

The first pianoconcerto:

<a href="http://www.youtube.com/v/QBfIYP3L2zs" target="_blank" class="new_win">http://www.youtube.com/v/QBfIYP3L2zs</a>