During the Han Dynasty the theory of the Five Elements became inseparably intertwined with the Yin Yang theory of Changes, also known as the Yi Ching (I-Ching). According to the “Book of Changes: Cycle of Elemental Music”, Earth, Metal, Wood, Fire and Water correspond with spleen, lung, liver, heart and kidney respectively.
D’Indy was a contemporary of Debussy and Ravel, and a pupil of César Franck. Fauré described him as ‘The Samson of Music’ for his multifarious and generous-minded work as a composer, conductor, educator and propagandist who greatly strengthened French musical culture. Today the music of d’Indy is sadly neglected, which is why Chandos and the Iceland Symphony Orchestra have decided to embark upon a series devoted to his orchestral works with conductor Rumon Gamba. With a style essentially eclectic and strongly influenced above all by Beethoven and Wagner, d’Indy particularly excelled in orchestral composition. He drew particular inspiration from his native region in southern France, and formed a body of post-romantic works richly orchestrated, often inflected with folk-like melodies and employing Franck’s well-known ‘cyclic method’.