Lalo and Litolff

Édouard Lalo, the French composer, is best known for his Symphonie Espagnole which I have as a stand-alone cd along with his Violoncello Concerto. Like Dukas, Lalo is one of those artists reduced to one or two ‘big hits’ that remain in the contemporary concert repertory. Was he even Spanish? (He wasn’t.) So is his  Symphonie Espagnole considered cultural appropriation? Regardless it is a compelling, stirring work that is both playful & emotional at the same time. Almost melodramatic is easy to let it take one to Spain. The accompanying Concerto is similar in its emotive orchestration & sweet cello writing. Well worth listening to too.

Did he write anything else? Yes! Mainly for violin or cello. But these are the only pieces of his I have in my collection. Maybe it’s time to add more 🙂 This cd I picked up at Sam The Record Man (remember Sam’s) way back in 1995 to replace my lp version of it. 

Worse than being a one or two hit wonder is to be a no hit wonder such as the Scottish composer Henry Litolff (1818 1891) I have an lp to CD transfer of his Concerto Symphonique No. 4 in D minor, Op. 102 with piano obbligato. If he is known at all, it is for one movement of this work. A romantic composer he was over-shadowed by the likes of Liszt & Chopin. Maybe it is sauce he was Scottish too. The classical scene was dominated by European composers. British composers were not considered as good.

Would you rather: Liszt or Litolff? Liszt even dedicated one his piano concertos to Litolff. I’ve kept this recording more as a curiosity than as something I love to hear. The piano is good but feels uninspired, & it is matched by the orchestra. None of his vast writing is in the contemporary concert repertory. Listen to it on YouTube before you rush out to pick it up. 

News

‘Fighting in the Middle East escalated today with the announcement by President Elect Bratlat that he would not back down on the demands of his predecessor. Spokesman for the Grey Dawn Forces say this stance is unacceptable.

Two separate forays where made into the disputed territories resulting in extensive damage and at least ten deaths. A shrapnel bomb hidden in a baby carriage …

‘Please turn that off. We are trying to have nice meal here.’

‘Can’t hide from the world Mom.’ 

‘I know that but we don’t have to invite it in to supper.’ She reached for the remote.

‘Oh no.’ Dave grabbed it and switched to the music video station.

‘You got look

where ya gonna cook

hook you jus a ho

no more no less 

so don’t mess

with with dis itch

or you’ll find yourself

on the end of a fish bitch hook

fish bitch hook.’

‘And enough do that too.’ She took the remote from him and turned the TV off.

‘Aw mom.’ The other two children moaned.

‘Look we are going to have a quiet meal for a change. Okay.’

Their sullen faces were acceptance enough. All that was heard was the click of forks on plates and the tick of a clock.

‘How was school Dave.’

‘Nothing happened. Just school. You know mom.’

‘When will Dad get home,’ Trish, the youngest asked.

‘Soon. He’s gonna take us down the to rink.’

‘Don’t get your hopes up too high kids. You know this is the busiest time of the year for him.’ She reminded them.

Just then the door opened. Trish dashed from the table.

‘Daddy Daddy.’ she jumped up into his arms. He held her and put her down in her chair.

‘Thanks for waiting supper for me.’ He slumped at the table without taking his coat off.

‘Thanks for telling me you’d be late and then not being late.’

‘Yeah well things change. So where’s my dinner.’

She got up from the table and went to the kitchen. As she passed him he grabbed her by the wrist. ‘Don’t take that attitude, you hear. I’m not one of your brats.’

‘Let go of me.’

‘Sure enough.’ He slapped her playfully on the butt as she passed. ‘So why so glum everyone. It’s Xmas eve after all. Let’s have some TV. Better than this silence. Eh?’

The TV blared on. She leaned against the stove and scooped mashed potatoes onto a plate for him.

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