Ernest Chausson: Symphony in B-flat Op. 20
Towards the end of the 19th century, French composers were churning out symphonies: the “Organ” symphony by Saint-Saens, the Symphony in g-minor by Lalo, the Symphony in D minor by Cesar Franck, just to name a handful. Among the French composers producing symphonies at the time was also Ernst Chausson, who completed his own symphony in 1890. It’s a work that is easily comparable to the Symphony of Cesar Franck: both works have three movements, both feature of a kind of “cyclical” way of bringing back themes from early movements into the last movement, and both feature the English horn quite a bit. Chausson’s symphony embodies a richness that is nearly impressionistic, but also very Wagner-like. It’s our Evening Masterwork tonight at 7 on Classical WSMR.