Jean Louis Nicodé (1853–1919) The Sea Op. 31
Symphonic ode [T,mix ch,orch] duration: 55' Text: Karl Woermann
solo: T – choir: TTBB – 3(picc).2.2.2.dble bsn – 220.127.116.11 – 2timp.perc(3) – hp – org – str
The Sea by the composer Jean-Louis Nicodé (1853-1919), active in Dresden, is in any event worth rediscovery.
The symphonic ode with its large orchestration was so successful at the end of the 19th century that the publisher even issued it with a singable English translation. Nicodé does not pursue Félicien David’s melodramatic “Ode-Symphony,” established in France with “Le Désert” in 1844. Nicodé’s seven-part composition is more of a large-scale cantata with expansive (male) choral movements and a tenor hymn (“Fata Morgana”). They encircle the orchestral writing “Meeresleuchten [Marine Lights]” – the best program music from the tradition of Franz Liszt, whose music Nicodé advocated as conductor.