Koechlin: Les Heures Persanes, Op. 65

Naxos: 8572473

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Koechlin: Les Heures Persanes, Op. 65



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Release date:

3rd Jan 2012




55 minutes


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Koechlin: Les Heures Persanes, Op. 65

Ralph van Raat (piano)



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A pupil of Massenet and Fauré, the prolific French composer and teacher Charles Koechlin expanded traditional harmonies and compositional techniques and was much admired by his contemporaries. Les heures persanes was inspired by Vers Ispahan, Pierre Loti’s diary of a journey through Persia. Oriental atmospheres are recreated through cycles of day and night, and in piano writing completely new for its time. This evocative piece salutes Koechlin’s musical forebears as well as foreshadowing Messiaen through the “passionate and skilled” (The Sunday Times on 8572570) advocacy of Ralph van Raat.

Charles Koechlin: Les heures persanes, Op. 65

No. 1. Sieste, avant le depart: Lent

No. 2. La caravane (reve, pendant la sieste): Pas vite

No. 3. L'escalade obscure: Adagio (non troppo)

No. 4. Matin frais, dans la haute vallee: Pas trop lent

No. 5. En vue de la ville: Moderato

No. 6. A travers les rues: Allegro vivo

No. 7. Chant du soir: Tres calme

No. 8. Clair de lune sur les terrasses: Andante moderato

No. 9. Aubade: Moderato

No. 10. Roses au soleil de midi: Presque adagio

No. 11. A l'ombre, pres de la fontaine de marbre: Moderato

No. 12. Arabesques: Allegro (non troppo)

No. 13. Les collines, au coucher du soleil: Tres calme

No. 14. Le conteur: Assez lent - Le Pecheur et le Genni - Le Palais enchante - Danse d'adolescents - Claire de lune sur les jardins

No. 15. La paix du soir, au cimetiere: Assez lent

No. 16. Derviches dans la nuit: Assez anime, nocturne, mysterieux - Variante - Clair de lune sur la place deserte

BBC Music Magazine

March 2012


“It's good to have a bargain-price version from Naxos, and Ralph van Raat is a thoughtful interpreter...when Koechlin creates a palpable sense of rhythm he is excellent, as in the dynamic build-up of 'Le caravane', and in the rare fast movements”

Gramophone Magazine

April 2012

“Les heures persanes unfolds in a dreamlike way in Ralph van Raat's committed reading, playing that is truly inside the music - an artist ploughing his own furrow”

MusicWeb International

July 2012

“As much as I’ve enjoyed van Raat’s previous discs this one is really rather special. His judgment is impeccable and the playing is free of artifice or exaggeration. That, coupled with top-notch sound, makes this a mandatory purchase for all pianophiles.”

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