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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: 1 minutes 39 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)

Sarabande
composer
1920; part of the Album des Six

Sarabande  [1'39]

Introduction  EnglishFrançaisDeutsch
Although ‘Les Six’ existed formally only across 1920/21, its members somewhat unusually collaborated in two ventures: the wonderfully surreal divertissement of Les Mariés de la Tour Eiffel of 1921 (though Durey, feigning illness, had already declined to be involved with this) and the miniature Album des Six, for piano (1920).

Auric’s light-hearted Prélude, dedicated to General Clapier, is an animated genial piece, with brash ‘wrong note’ effects (including bitonality) for added piquancy and a mock-Classical ‘Alberti bass’, while Durey’s pensive Romance sans paroles, for Ricardo Viñes, features a wistful modal melody within a spacious—almost orchestral—layering of sound. The ensuing Sarabande (Honegger) and Mazurka (Milhaud) constitute the quiet central core, again with gently dissonant modal lines quite romantic in character—lush harmonies, syncopation and expressive markings. Poulenc’s extrovert and charming Valse, for Micheline Soulé, enjoys its Parisian café pleasures (mingled with hints of Petrushka!), and includes some striking bell-like effects. Finally, Tailleferre’s playful Pastorale, dedicated to Milhaud, trips along in 5/8 metre until it finds its proper bucolic 6/8, while, appropriately enough, the ending is just carried away on the breeze.

from notes by Deborah Mawer © 2001

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