Jean Françaix (1912-97) has long enjoyed a reputation as one of the happier composers, his Gallic charm and breezy good humour obscuring the superb craftsmanship of his writing. Françaix once observed that 'I live in exile in my own country and am nourished from abroad' — Plus ça change, he then might have thought, with this CD presenting an Hungarian ensemble led by a Canadian conductor on a British label, with two first recordings and a rare hearing for one of his more substantial scores.
Sir Georg Solti Chamber Orchestra, Budapest, chamber orchestra Kerry Stratton, conductor
Die Kamelien: Pantomime für Schauspieler (1950) https://d3i77y9w5vf4up.cloudfront.net/TOCC0162/TOCC0162t06.mp3
Catalogue No: TOCC0162EAN/UPC: 5060113441621Release Date: 29.10.2012Composer: Jean Françaix Artists: Kerry Stratton, Sir Georg Solti Chamber Orchestra
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Nick Barnard :
“…With the outstanding tradition of string playing in Hungary it will come as no surprise that this is very polished and virtuosic music-making of the highest order. It’s valuable too, because it strips away many of the easy clichéd expectations one can fall into with this style of music assuming it will be "urbane", "beautifully crafted", "polished" or "witty". For sure it is all of those things but with a strong spine of formal rigour and a higher level of pungent dissonance than one might immediately expect. …Without wishing to fall back on the clichés mentioned earlier it is true that an important part of Françaix’s skill lies in elegant sophistication with which he handles his musical material and the instruments that play it. While far from easy or simple, at the same time it sounds grateful and not awkward for the simple purpose of being awkward. Melodically Françaix favours motifs rather than extended themes in part because they can be more fruitful in the way they can be developed. …Overall, a rewarding and stimulating disc – as with so many from this source. …all three works presented here do deserve at least a foothold in the repertoire with Die Kamelien proving especially impressive.” MusicWeb International
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