Le chasseur maudit : Work information

César(-Auguste-Jean-Guillaume-Hubert) Franck ( Music, Images,)
Performed by
Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, Raymond Leppard (Conductor)

This work

Work name
Le chasseur maudit
Work number
1882-00-00 02:00:00

This recording

Royal Philharmonic Orchestra
Alan Peters
Dick Lewzey
Recording date

Track listing

  • 15:14 min


The literary stimulus for Le Chasseur maudit of 1882 was a poem of the same name by the German Romantic poet Gottfried Bürger. The ballad tells of an unholy Count who prefers the pleasures of the hunt to his Sunday worship. He forsakes St. Hubert's mass and leaps on his horse, little realising that he is riding to his damnation. He is pursued by a pack of screaming devils and driven straight into the gaping mouth of Hell.

Franck's music follows the plot of the story quite clearly. It starts with the lure of the hunting call and the contrasting religiosity of the church music. The ride is depicted quite graphically. As it gathers momentum the music becomes gradually more sinister, with grotesque shriekings from the brass and diabolical whistlings from the piccolo. A slower section incorporates the bizarre sound of four horns playing with their mutes on, and establishes a suitably 'spooky' atmosphere. The fatal ride continues to its hellish conclusion.

The Composers

César(-Auguste-Jean-Guillaume-Hubert) Franck

Sir John Eliot Gardiner

One of the most exciting and versatile conductors of our time and a key figure in the early music revival, Sir John Eliot Gardiner has consistently gone against the prevailing orthodoxy through his particular combination of scholarship and inspired musicianship.

Founder and Artistic Director of the Monteverdi Choir, the English Baroque Soloists and the Orchestre Révolutionnaire et Romantique, Sir John Eliot Gardiner's performances in concert and on record are unmistakable, both for their zest and technical mastery and the highly personal readings of music from Monteverdi to Verdi and beyond.

In the autumn of 2003, he conducted a rapturously-received new production of Berlioz’ Les Troyens, with the Orchestre Révolutionaire et Romantique, at the Théatre du Châtelet in Paris, for which he was named 'personalité musicale de l'année' by the French Journalists' Union. The production of Les Troyens was also awarded the Grand Prix by the same organisation.

To celebrate the Choir’s 40th anniversary, Sir John Eliot Gardiner and the Monteverdi Choir embarked on a musical pilgrimage, this time following the oldest and most famous of pilgrimage routes, el Camino de Santiago, performing the very best a cappella music by Spanish and other European composers of the 16th & 17th centuries.

Alongside the activities with his own ensembles, Sir John Eliot Gardiner appears regularly as guest conductor all over the world. He has made over 250 recordings, many of which have won international awards. Future plans with his ensembles include performances of JS Bach’s St Matthew Passion in the spring of 2005, A Midsummer Night’s Dream by Mendelssohn in the autumn and a selection of JS Bach cantatas in December.