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True to form, Järvi has uncovered a collection of minor works by a well-known composer and injected enough sparkle into them to make for hugely enjoyable listening.

Some you will half recognise, such as the swirling Castillane, Aragonaise and Navarraise from the ballet suite of Le Cid, each summoning the intoxicating aroma of 19th century French grand opera.

Then there’s the quasi-religious perfume of Le Dernier Sommeil de la Vierge and the gently melodious piety of the Scène religieuse from Les Erinnyes. Sir Thomas Beecham dubbed them “lollipops” – sweet nothings that could lift an audience’s spirit. Järvi is in his element, and his Geneva orchestra responds with spirit and style.

Massenet

Orchestral works

Orchestre de la Suisse Romande/Neeme Järvi

(Chandos)

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