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Bizet - Orchestral Works


L'Arlesienne Suites 1 & 2

Symphony in C

Roma, symphony for orchestra in C major

Patrie Overture, Op. 19

Carmen Suite No. 1

Jeux d'enfants (Petite Suite), Op. 22

Overture in A minor

Les Quatre coins

Marche funebre in B minor

Orchestre du Capitole de Toulouse, Michel Plasson

This disc includes every orchestral work of Bizet you'll ever need in performances, led by Michel Plasson, that may never be bettered. In other words, this is mandatory listening for any fan of the composer. It contains the supremely well-known Carmen and L'Arlésienne Suites, as well as the less well known Jeux d'enfants and Symphony in C, the hardly known Roma Suite, Overture in A minor, Overture Patrie, Marche funèbre, and Les Quatre Coins, plus the rarely played complete L'Arlésienne Incidental Music. Plasson maintains a consistent level of excellence in his performances, regardless of how popular or obscure the work. While some listeners may already have their favorite recordings of the Carmen Suite or the symphony, Plasson and the Toulouse musicians' robust but subtle performances are likely to be just as appealing. And because the conducting is as capable, the playing as persuasive, and the performances as committed, works like Roma and the Patrie Overture sound far more convincing than one would have imagined possible given their youthful origins. Recorded between 1985 and 1993, EMI's digital sound here is rich, deep, warm, and very attractive. Anyone interested in the music of the great French composer should by all means hear these discs.

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