This final installment of Rumon Gamba’s six discs exploring the orchestral work of turn of the (last) century French composer Vincent d’Indy – whose aesthetic pitched up somewhere between César Franck and Richard Wagner – is probably not the best place to gain an entry-point. Fans will be happy to have a new recording of Wallenstein, the composer’s three-part pseudo-symphony inspired by a rather vainglorious poem by Schiller. The 1976 recording by Pierre Dervaux and the Orchestre de la Loire remains the go-to, but Gamba’s Iceland forces are captured with intimate depth, brass pushed slightly forwards in the mix; d’Indy liked nothing better than a brass fanfare, so such sonic gerrymandering is acceptable.
The piece itself, though, is remarkably unremarkable. Given d’Indy’s pedigree as a disciple of Franck and Wagner, his attempts to create a Franckian cyclic structure deploying Wagnerian motifs as staging posts flounder because his melodic and gestural hooks feel so unmemorable and generic.
Elsewhere, Bryndís Hall Gylfadóttir’s sweet and effervescent playing sells d’Indy’s folksy Lied for cello and orchestra. But you can see why the monochrome Sérénade et Valse, Suite dans le Style Ancien and Prelude to Act III of his opera Fervaal remain historical curios.