French Music Before And After The Great War

Symphony in C minor by Fernand Halphen - Piano Concerto for the Left Hand by Maurice Ravel



The First World War was a period of deep turmoil in Europe, in which the art of musical creation was not forgotten. Performed by the Orchestra of the Campus of Orsay, under the direction of Martin Barral, and the pianist Olivier Herbay, the works collected in this disc illustrate this statement : Fernand Halphen’s (1872-1917) symphony in C minor- written in 1896-1897 but never recorded until today – still belongs to the XIXth century, in terms of classicism of language as well as its expressive research, where as Maurice Ravel’s (1875-1937) piano Concerto for the Left Hand, firmly turned towards modernity, is the result of a composer in full maturity, eleven years after the ending of the conflict.
Gathering the works of these composers, whithout taking account of their notoriety, allows us to better appreciate the stylistic diversity of French musical production before and after the war of 1914.

CD produced with the support of the Fondation pour la Mémoire de la Shoah and the Fondation du Judaïsme Français.

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Video of Ravel’s Concerto for the Left Hand with Olivier Herbay, conducted by Martin Barral, below

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