SCO & François Leleux - Bizet & Gounod - Hi-Fi News
The gem here is the little symphony composer by Charles Gounod in 1885, for flute and pairs of oboes, clarinets, bassoons and horns. Here, Leleux (equally known as oboist and conductor and, incidentally, the husband of Lisa Batiashvili) leads the renowned winds of the Scottish Chamber Orchestra. The five orchestral movements taken from Carmen were arranged by Ernest Guiruad (in the opera his recitatives often replaced the original spoken dialogue), while the Symphony was one of Bizet's early works - he was 17, and much influenced then by Gounod's music. These are punchy recordings, close-micd presumably to overcome the long reverb of Caird Hall, Dundee. But soundstage details are sharply focused and all the performances have drive and spirit. Those winds make a lovely sound together.