Music with Ease > Classical Music > Concert Guide: Turn of the 20th Century > Suite, "Esclarmonde" - Massenet
The suite "Esclarmonde" is based upon Massenets opera of the same name, its subject matter being taken from different scenes and entractes and arranged for the concertroom. The first number of the suite, "Evocation," opens with a unison fortissimo in the brass and wind instruments, from which it passes to full orchestra, and is carried on until a decrescendo leads to a flowing, graceful melody which works up to a grand climax, closing the movement. The second movement, "LIle magique," opens with quiet, mysterious harmonies, which at last lead to an Allegro scherzando, an animated dance figure. Another charming melody follows and alternates with the other theme, closing the movement. The third movement, "Hyménée," is composed entirely of a broad, stately theme in triple time, and its development. The fourth movement, "Dans la Forêt," is divided into two sections, "Pastorale," and "La Chasse." The first section consists of a delicate melody announced in flute and oboe over a drone bass. It leads without interruption to "La Chasse," in which the violins persistently repeat a spinning figure, while the woodwinds take detached phrases until the whole orchestra at last is engaged with the hunting theme, the movement closing with an impetuous Coda.