Personalities | Ernest Chausson | Late Romantic | Classical
(Âr-nest’ Sho-sôn’) 1855–99
After qualifying in law, Chausson studied with Massenet and Franck at the Paris Conservatoire and absorbed Wagnerian style, attending the Bayreuth premiere of Parsifal on his honeymoon. All three influences pervade his highly polished oeuvre in all genres. Best known are his masterly Symphony in B flat (1889), his sparkling concerto for piano, violin and string quartet and the sumptuous Poème (1882–90, rev. 1893) for violin and orchestra. He also wrote orchestral songs and Le roi Arthus (1886–95), an opera which uses leitmotif technique. Chausson was secretary of the National Society of French Music from 1886 and his famous salons were attended by leading artists.
Symphony in B flat, Poème, Poème de l’amour et de la mer, soloists, Montreal SO (cond) Charles Dutoit (Decca)
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