Featuring nine world premiere recordings, Cherubini, the latest release from Riccardo Chailly and the Filarmonica della Scala, continues the critically-acclaimed ‘Discoveries’ series. The album, released on Decca Classics on 7th February 2020, follows the news that Chailly has been named Diapason D’Or Artist of the Year, with a nod to his last recording with the Filarmonica della Scala, The Fellini Album, released last summer on Decca Classics.
Born in Florence in 1760, Cherubini (born Maria Luigi Carlo Zenobio Salvatore Cherubini) moved to Paris in July 1786 and became a French citizen in 1794. He worked tirelessly in the French capital as a composer, conductor, teacher, concert organiser and music publisher and in time became, in the words of his colleague Étienne Méhul, “France’s leading composer”.
The Overture in G major, completed in 1815 on commission from the Royal Philharmonic Society in London, was conducted by the composer himself, boasts a dramatic atmosphere and is structured in a series of contrasting moods. The Symphony in D major, composed between March and April 1824, was also performed in London at the Royal Philharmonic Society. Split into four movements (Largo–Allegro– Larghetto cantabile– Minuetto: Allegro non tanto– Allegro assai), it is a rare example of Italian symphonic music.
The Marche religieuse pour le jour du sacre de Charles X was performed by 200 musicians, a mixture of instrumentalists and singers for the monarch’s coronation on 29 May 1825. It immediately garnered admiration and appreciation from both the public and Cherubini’s contemporaries – including Hector Berlioz. Although designed as occasional music, it is far from being prosaic, and has a clear structure, thanks in part to its precise harmonic progression.
On 11 October 1797, the Théâtre de l’Opéra in Paris hosted a lavish commemoration of the heroic general Louis Lazare Hoche, for which Cherubini wrote a hymn and two marches. The first march enjoyed a reasonable level of success over the following few decades, and the second, “religious” march rounded off the funeral ceremony. The march composed for Baron Peter von Braun pays homage to an extremely influential figure in Vienna who built various temples and pavilions on his estate in Schönau suitable for hosting various events, including masonic ceremonies.
Jean-François-Marie Delaître was appointed prefect of the Eure-et-Loir département on 14 March 1800, and Cherubini marked the event with two musical tributes, recorded for the first time on this recording. In 1806, Cherubini went to stay in Chimay, which provided a peaceful place to relax, far from his work and duties in the city, and a chance to recover from the burn-out he had suffered that year. He lived in the home of the count and countess of Caraman, who had family ties to some of France’s most aristocratic families, and his Marche pour instruments à vent was written in homage to his hosts.
Born in 1953 in Milan, Riccardo Chailly started his career as an opera conductor and gradually extended his repertoire to encompass symphonic music. With a recording catalogue of over 150 releases, Chailly has the longest exclusive recording contract of any living conductor, working with Decca for over 40 years to date. He currently serves as music director of the Lucerne Festival.
Riccardo Chailly and the Filarmonica della Scala release Cherubini: Discoveries on 7thFebruary 2020