By Paul Dukas: The Fanfare to his ballet “La Peri.” I was lucky enough to play this piece in college. The harmonies don’t go where you expect them to. Wonder why we never hear it. Ernest Ansermet conducts the brass section of L’Orchestre de la Suisse Romande.
It’s still popular with college brass ensembles. But beyond that…? The whole ballet is terrific too.
I think it could be played just a bit faster to give it more character. And I’ll bet I heard you when it was played at college. Its a rigorous piece and these tempi tend, to my ear, to make it more ponderous than ostentatious.
I listened to it again and perhaps it isn’t a need for a tempo update but the basic problem that tt is a recording. The “edge” that is there when you are in the audience enjoying the performance is what is missing. I truly like this piece and somehow the only reaction I get is “yes, that is the super fanfare” and no stimulation of my senses.
As a general rule, recordings sound better at slightly faster tempos than those that are preferable in live performances.
The brass section of the Grand Rapids (Michigan) Symphony of my youth used to play this fanfare during intermissions, to let the audience know that the second half of the concert was about to begin. Loved the piece ever since.