Jean Françaix: Music for String Orchestra

Catalogue No: TOCC0162
EAN/UPC: 5060113441621
Release Date: 2012-10-29
Composer: Jean Françaix
Artists: Kerry Stratton, Sir Georg Solti Chamber Orchestra

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

5 reviews for Jean Françaix: Music for String Orchestra

  1. :

    ‘…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.’

    —Nick Barnard, MusicWeb International

  2. :

    ‘Kerry Stratton conducts with assurance, adopting pacing that feels judicious. The playing from the Sir Georg Solti Chamber Orchestra, Budapest is highly committed and warmly expansive […]. Recorded in Studio 22 of Hungarian Radio, Budapest the sound-team for Toccata Classics has provided good clarity with decent presence and is well balanced too. […] There is no need to hesitate with this excellent addition to the Jean Françaix discography.’

    —Michael Cookson, MusicWeb International

  3. :

    ‘The light yet well-crafted music of Jean Françaix is extremely popular […]. I’ve long loved his Wind Quintet and his Trois Epigrammes, and so did Nadia Boulanger who performed excerpts from the latter with her singers. […] Conductor Stratton and his chamber orchestra capture the lightness as well as the lovely textures, and their performance is delightful. […]

    This is the first recording of the ballet as well as of the Botticelli piece, thus this disc is a must for Françaix fans. For those who have heard his music and like it, I recommend it highly as well. The string symphony has only been recorded three times previously, and since this disc collects almost all his music for string orchestra it is a valuable addition to the composer’s discography. I particularly applaud conductor Stratton for his enthusiasm for this music and foresight in getting it recorded.’

    —Lynn René Bayley, Fanfare Magazine May/June 2013

  4. :

    ‘The performances are technically assured. The youthful Georg Solti Chamber Orchestra (20 strong, at least on this release) provides sleek performances that are light on vibrato. Kerry Stratton is sympathetic to the music, phrasing gracefully and securing airy, transparent textures from his musicians. […]


    —Barry Brenesal, Fanfare Magazine May/June 2013

  5. :

    ‘Conductor Kerry Stratton clearly loves this repertoire, and his well-prepared, sympathetic performances are persuasive. He draws an enthusiastic, committed response from the ‘Georg Solti’ Chamber Orchestra […]

    The sound is full, and vivid.’

    —Stephen Francis Vasta, Positive Feedback

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