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Charles Koechlin
1 CD | 66min | Nr. 93.221
CD 1: » Charles Koechlin: L' offrande musicale sur le nom de B-A-C-H op. 187
» Charles Koechlin: Les Bandar-log op. 176

The Stuttgart Radio Symphony Orchestra under Heinz Holliger, which has engaged itself with élan for many years in its edition of the orchestral works of Charles Koechlin, is now releasing a new CD in this series. The featured work on this disc is Koechlin’s homage to Bach: Offrande musicale sur le nom de Bach op. 187. Like no other Koechlin creation, this “musical offering” perfectly blends the element of contrapuntal work and a typically French transparency and treatment of the orchestra.

“Let me hope that, should I still have a few more years to live, I’ll be able to hear my ‘Offrande musicale sur el nom de BACH.‘” Koechlin was eighty years old when he made this statement on French radio in 1947. This wish would not be granted to him. It was not until twenty-three years after his death that this work was performed for the first time. The second performance of the Offrande musicale worldwide was held on 31 August 2008 at the European Musical Festival in Stuttgart and is documented on this CD.

Les Bandar-log op. 176 was the last of Koechlin’s compositions based on Rudyard Kipling’s Jungle Book. The Bandar-log designates chattering apes in Kipling, and Koechlin satirizes such big-mouthed self-important types: he likens them to mindless composers who merely follow current trends and is deliberately clumsy in his setting of the parts in a panoply of styles. Koechlin wrote of this, “They believe themselves to be creative, but in reality they are only vulgar mimics whose aim is to follow the fashion of the day (as is sometimes the case in the artistic world). The monkeys in this symphonic poem use various procedures of ‘modern harmony’ (but use them badly.” A revealing and most highly pleasurable piece of music!