• Bizet: Carmen Suite No. 1 & Symphony No. 1 - Gounod: Petite Symphonie

    François Leleux, Scottish Chamber Orchestra

    Bizet: Carmen Suite No. 1 & Symphony No. 1 - Gounod: Petite Symphonie 1 cd CKD624
    Linn Records

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In his debut recording with the Scottish Chamber Orchestra oboist François Leleux celebrates his dual roles of conductor and soloist as he directs performances of Bizet and Gounod. Following several successful collaborations, including a season as a Featured Artist, Leleux has established a strong rapport with the SCO. The programme features Bizet’s Symphony in C, written in two months when the French composer was just eighteen, which is simply full of life, exuding brilliance, charm, wit and wonderful tunes. The Scotsman described his interpretation as ‘brisk, urgent, full of bite, and as playful as you could ever want it to be’. Leleux is particularly suited to performing Gounod’s Petite Symphonie, which was written for nine of the finest wind players in Paris. Directing from the oboe, Leleux joins the SCO section principals as they demonstrate the strength of their chamber music instincts in a performance which sparkles with personality and individuality. To complete the programme Leleux takes listeners to the opera with a suite from Bizet’s Carmen bursting with the drama, passion and entrancing melodies that set this iconic opera apart.


"Album of the Week: Here’s a real gem ... Leleux leads the SCO’s crack wind soloists in a sprightly account of the Gounod and has a delicious way with the Bizet pieces ..."
The Sunday Times, 23 February 2020
"5* - François Leleux and the Scottish Chamber Orchestra secure a suitably exuberant and boisterous performance in Bizet and Gounod."
Mail on Sunday, 5 April 2020
"Disc of the Week: Here’s a timely release that’s sure to lift the spirits. Oboist François Leleux conducts the Scottish Chamber Orchestra in a delightful programme of French music that oozes Gallic charm and refinement."
Europadisc, 20 March 2020
"Lively and poised. It's a really attractive proposition. A beautifully balanced account. Good recording as well."
BBC Radio 3 'Record Review', 14 March 2020
"Beautifully melodic, the piece has the flute to the fore in the slow second movement, and the horns leading the pack in the Scherzo."
The Herald, 23 March 2020
"A fine orchestra and a gifted oboist-conductor charm and sparkle."
Apple Music, 30 March 2020
"Record of the Week: Oboist-conductor François Leleux leads the Scottish Chamber Orchestra in 3 wind-powered wonders full of springtime joie de vivre. Crystal-clear Linn Records sound is a breath of fresh air."
The Symphonist, 21 March 2020
"4* - This is a delightful French feast ... Leleux elicits a balanced variety of warmth and nimble lucidness from the Scottish Chamber Orchestra."
The Scotsman, 10 March 2020
"Under Leleux, the SCO excel in this French repertoire with brilliant and stylish playing that feels absolutely right. Beautifully played, recorded and presented this is a quite delightful release."
MusicWeb International
"In both these works, Leleux is alert to detail in the inner lines, and listeners will find the performances refreshing, even revelatory."
All Music
"The Symphony in C sounds marvellously fresh and new-minted here ... A hugely enjoyable disc."
Gramophone, June 2020 issue
"François Leleux’s Scottish Chamber Orchestra are superb ... A real feel-good disc, with sumptuous sound."
The Arts Desk
"A beautifully judged programme of Bizet and Gounod, played with style by the Scottish Chamber Orchestra and with a vivid hi-res sound."
Gramophone "High Fidelity", June 2020 issue
"Orchestral Choice / Performance 5* / Recording 5* - A fizzing performance of Bizet and Gounod. It bubbles along with infectious delight in the SCO’s hands – I could listen to them playing this all day – dazzling between wind and strings."
BBC Music Magazine
"Sound Quality 85%: ... all the performances have drive and spirit. Those winds make a lovely sound together."
Hi-Fi News
"As a former orchestral musician, Leleux knows how to finely adjust the balances of the Scottish Chamber Orchestra, he knows the subtleties of the agogic possibilities especially in the Carmen Suite. The Symphony in C major sparkles with classic charm and is performed with elegant understatement. On listening to the CD, it is noticeable that the oboe is quite present as a soloist in both works. In the Petite Symphony for nine wind instruments by Charles Gounod, Leleux resorts to the oboe himself."