Mats Lidström opens his notes for this exciting and varied new release with these emphatic words: “Let it be known that cellists’ repertoire is unlimited”! In that spirit this outstanding duo offer us a feast of fine fare from the neglected French repertoire. This includes the remainder of the Breton song arrangements by Koechlin which where unknown to the players when they recorded the first set and have here been recorded for the first time from the manuscript in the composer’s family’s collection. As for Widor, he has come down in history ………….
Since the end of the seventeenth century French composers have shown a particular skill and deftness of touch in writing for the flute. The instrument owes much of its prominence in French music of the twentieth century to the use made of it in orchestral colouring by composers such as Debussy and Ravel, as well as to a group of highly gifted players associated in one way or another with the Paris Conservatoire. They include the soloist on this recording, Patrick Gallois, a pupil of Jean-Pierre Rampal. This collection of works composed during the last sixty years ranges from Poulenc’s Sonata, marked by rhythmic vitality and a delicate vein of sentimentality, Messiaen’s Le merle noir, inspired by bird song, to Boulez’s Sonatine, which the composer himself has characterised as ‘organised delirium’.
…The Burwell lute tutor states: "[On] other instruments we sing, but on the lute we speak". That is exactly what Bailes does, and in a very eloquent manner.
The young organist Pétur Sakari (aged just 21) has gathered five giants of the organ repertoire for his debut disc on BIS, performing on the famous organ of Saint-Étienne-du-Mont in Paris. The five composers are all interconnected – Charles Tournemire and Louis Vierne studied together (under Franck), Maurice Duruflé studied under Tournemire and was Vierne’s assistant at Notre Dame, and Marcel Dupré counted Vierne (and Widor) among his teachers and himself taught Olivier Messiaen.
During the 1920s many French composers reacted against the Wagnerian influences of the late nineteenth century, the impressionism of Debussy, and the dominating atmosphere of the circle round César Franck, and turned instead to the everyday world – the circus, the music hall, the fairground and jazz – for inspiration. The two French ballet scores presented here combine many of these elements and being collaborative efforts, provide a unique cross-section of the work of a dozen composers – some well-known, others barely mentioned in textbooks on the period……..