Thomas Beecham: Chabrier Gwendoline Overture, Orchestre National de la Radiodiffusion

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Emmanuel Chabrier
Emmanuel Chabrier
In this 1961 recording, Thomas Beecham leads the Orchestre National de la Radiodiffusion Française in a performance of the gorgeous overture to the opera "Gwendoline" by French composer Emmanuel C
habrier (1841-1894). Like Ernest Chausson's "Le roi Arthus," this was Chabrier's attempt at a Wagnerian opera. Set in 8th century Britain, it is a Tristan-like love story concerning Gwendoline, the daughter of the chief of a Saxon tribe, and Harald, a leader of the enemy Danish Vikings. Although Chabrier has thoroughly absorbed Wagnerian chromatic harmony, his music is anything but derivative, with his own musical language shining through.