From my collection.
Bought in 2011.
First listen: 24-2-2014.
Second listen: 29-4-2014.
Third listen: 23-5-2017.
Recording dates: November 2002.
Recording venue: Ulster Hall, Belfast.
Recording engineer: Simon Eadon
Running time: 57:29.
Relevance to me: Essential.
Les Malheurs de Sophie, 1935. (Ballet)
Concertino for Piano and Orchestra in F major, 1934.
Les Bosquets de Cythere, 1946.
Ulster Orchestra, Thierry Fischer.
Philippe Cassard, Piano.
Apart from the delightfully bubbly piano concerto, there are two pieces on this disc scored for ballet. Well one of them is, and the other one has not gone into history as one, but could well be. He is one of the composers of the 20th century for whom I have lots of respect. If you are able in a world full of turmoil to write such beautiful music you must be truly blessed. Les malheurs de Sophie from 1935, is a ballet par example. The scoring is so delicately done, that you hear the tapering of dancing feet by the nymphs on stage. Images come readily without any resistance into my mind, and I make my own choreography. Les bosquets de Cythere from 1946 may not be meant as a ballet, but in all respects, it would not be any trouble at all, to use it for it. The music is sparky with balletic impulses, with brilliantly judged melodies conveying this brittle world of ballet. There is plenty of delight in both works, for there are many delicate moments and mildly vivid contrasts, and dynamics are delicately applied. Quicksilver dialogue, the music is simply bursting with infectious joy.
The Concertino is dancing its way through the music which Francaix scored so well for orchestra and piano. None of them hard hitting notes here, but again this delicate framework of lucidity and clarity. A bit tranquil at times, as not to disturb the equilibrium of the finely chiseled melodies.
The performances are top notch, and the recording is State of the Art.
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