Les Cris de Paris & Les Solistes des Siècles, Geoffroy Jourdain
CD - 2 discs
Usually despatched in 3 - 4 working days.
In 1861 Dubois won the Prix de Rome; in 1877, he replaced Camille Saint-Saëns as organist at the Madeleine and when he won the prize at the Concours Musical in 1878 his oratorio, 'Le paradis perdu', was finally performed in Paris at public expense. It was not written specifically for the competition but begun in 1871, inspired by Milton's 'Paradise Lost'. Dubois hired Edouard Blau to write the libretto to his instructions and Aparte's booklet details the many problems incurred with publishers, plagiarism and in getting his oratorio performed. This is the first time the oratorio has been revived in almost 100 years. As Dubois explained in his memoirs, “the full score [of Le Paradis perdu] had been engraved by the Girod firm, without any payment, as is customary. But the separate parts, for which I had paid, remained my property.” The Girod firm disappeared long ago. Dubois himself left chamber versions of some of his large-scale works, such as the 'Messe pontificale' and 'Les Sept Paroles du Christ' but only a piano reduction of this. In orchestrating 'Le Paradis perdu', (for string quintet, wind quintet and piano) Olivier Schmitt has respected its spirit and the manner of the 19th century.
“The result, as performed here, sounds like more harmonically adventurous Gounod. It's utterly professional and rich in good tunes, and I suspect that, when the music sounds inappropriately charming, it's the fault of the edition used here...the recording is prepared and delivered with impressive commitment.”