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Hyperion Records

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Le quai aux fleurs, Paris by Georges Stein (1870-1955)
Sotheby’s Picture Library
Track(s) taken from CDH55386
Recording details: April 2000
Henry Wood Hall, London, United Kingdom
Produced by Mark Brown
Engineered by Tony Faulkner
Release date: February 2001
Total duration: 8 minutes 26 seconds

'Emily Beynon plays quite beautifully throughout. This is a welcome recording' (Gramophone)

'An ingenious piece of programming by the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra's (Welsh) principal flautist and the pianist Andrew West: they have gathered together the complete works for flute and piano by the group of French composers known as Les Six and titled the record after the only work—a set of solo piano pieces—on which all six collaborated. Although the 'collectivisation' of these six musical personalities was the brainwave of a music critic in 1920, the flute and piano pieces recorded here date from the early 1920s to the 1970s. Poulenc's dazzling Sonata (1957), brilliantly played by Beynon and West, is the highlight of an absorbing and hugely entertaining disc' (The Sunday Times)

'Hyperion has enriched the catalogs with far more than its fair share of superb releases, and this is yet another one … urgently recommended to everyone who has even a passing interest in fine flute-playing or works of this period' (Fanfare, USA)

'Highly recommended' (Sun Journal, USA)

Imaginées 1

Imaginées 1  [8'26]

Introduction  EnglishFrançaisDeutsch
In the early 1960s, Auric became director of two bastions of the establishment: the Paris Opéra and the Opéra-Comique; there was also however a more radical side to Auric’s musical persona with modernist compositional tendencies evident as far back as the early 1930s. In 1968 he produced Imaginées 1, the first in an important series of four works for different instrumental combinations in a more obviously contemporary style, influenced by his younger compatriots. The piece is episodic and gestural in conception, with fluctuating tempi: ‘Largo’, ‘Vivo’ and ‘Allegro moderato’; fiery rhythmic sections emerge from the lugubrious depths of slower moments. Its harmonic language thrives on ambiguity, with chromatic meanderings and angular leaps leading to more overt atonality and dissonant pitch clusters. One ‘Allegro moderato’ section in 5/8 metre features the pianist’s hands apparently a semiquaver out of synchronization, while another presents a humorously distorted tango bass-line. Contrast and variety are the hallmarks of these quixotic ‘imaginings’.

from notes by Deborah Mawer © 2001

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