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RachFan - Catoire Chants du crepuscule 24/3: Message Board

RachFan's Comments

Georgy Catoire (1861-1926), a Russian Late Romantic composer, wrote his Chants du crepuscule, Op. 24 circa 1914, a set of four songs without words. The best translation of the title would be Songs of the Twilight. All of these pieces are very atmospheric. Perhaps there is a connection of this music to Victor Hugo’s Les Chants du Crepuscule, four volumes of poetry dating from 1835. Catoire was Russian born but of French parents, so he might well have been familiar with the works of Hugo. The pieces in this set are translucent and somewhat impressionistic, but still with a late romantic tinge too. In the “Chant No. 3? presented here, from the shifting tonal centers I sense a possible influence of Faure, yet the work is highly original too.

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Name Date Comment
David 2011-08-28 10:15:23 Hi wr,

I'm glad you enjoyed this piece. I found myself totally entranced by Catoire's style of composing and ended up recording three complete sets of it. Someday I hope to revisit Catoire and do more.
wr 2011-08-28 03:41:31 Fascinating music - thanks for playing it, and playing it so evocatively.
David 2011-08-25 13:21:48 Hi Inlanding,

As I play a lush piece like this one, I have a concept or program in mind. As each phase unfolds I listen to the nature of the music, allow it to conjure an inner emotion, next I connect with that and form a musical intent, then play the figuration accordingly, listening as I do so in order to receive validation or know how best to adjust in the moment. Catoire's music is extraordinary and addictive. Although he had his influences--Wagner, early Scriabin and Faure, his music is always fresh and original. I'm glad you enjoyed hearing this piece and hope that others will too. This composer deserves more examination and appreciation. Thanks for your comments and compliment!


Inlanding 2011-08-24 19:23:53 Such an interesting piece of music. It certainly is atmospheric and impressionistic with intertwining melodies. You play it so very well - it seems like you are listening very carefully to the music as you play. Very nice.
David 2011-08-23 18:57:23 Hi Julian,

I love Catoire's music and just wish it were not so obscure. I recorded three complete sets of his music to try to give him a boost to the best of my ability. His pieces are difficult to perform, but worth all the effort. These "Chants du crepuscule" (Songs of Twilight) are all gorgeous! I would have posted more, but didn't want to crowd the page. This No. 3, as you say, is atmospheric--almost impressionistic. This composer was incredibly eclectic. In one and the same moment he could meld impressionism, expressionism, and late romanticism to attain extraordinary sounds! That's a good point you make about Scriabin's middle period (my favorite). I would be surprised if Scriabin and Liadoff did not know one another. Thanks for the nice compliment!

Julian (SlatterFan) 2011-08-20 19:42:24 Very atmospheric indeed! Delicate textures/layers emerging, overlapping, then separating and/or fading. The soundworld reminds me of middle period Scriabin, such as the 4th sonata and the Op. 32 poems, but a bit more intricate and with more astringent harmonies. Beautifully played.