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Hyperion Records

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Afternoon in the Park by Hippolyte Petitjean (1854-1929)
Phillips Fine Art / Bridgeman Art Library, London
Track(s) taken from CDA67431/2
Recording details: July 2004
Henry Wood Hall, London, United Kingdom
Release date: May 2005
Total duration: 6 minutes 22 seconds

'…this is a set of sheer delight: let's hear it for imaginative conservatism' (Gramophone)

'These are full-blooded performances, packed with energy and colour, and every corner is turned under complete control' (BBC Music Magazine)

'It is repertoire that really shows up the ensemble's strengths and its ability to encompass the richest ensemble-playing, as well as the exposed solo work required of the accompanied sonata medium … there is plenty of mellifluously drawn melodic writing, playful harmonic twists and textural ingenuity to enjoy' (The Daily Telegraph)

'It is a charming collection, beautifully played; this is precisely the repertoire in which the Nash excels … The opening cantilena of the Oboe Sonata is positively rapturous … just as the mysterious fugal introduction to the finale of the early Piano Quintet [is] fabulously played by cellist Paul Watkins and violist Lawrence Power' (The Guardian)

'[The] Sonatas are all played with an ideal combination of infectious virtuosity and phrasal sensitivity to have these all-too-rarely heard works come dancing off the page. Sensational flautist Philippa Davies is on hand to add her own special brand of artistry … and producer Andrew Keener and engineer Simon Eadon typically capture the proceedings with their usual magical blend of warmth and clarity, making this an issue to cherish. The Nash Ensemble could hardly wish for a finer musical testimonial in this their fortieth birthday year' (International Record Review)

'a splendid two-disc set … mounted with that special sparkle they always bring to French repertoire' (The Times)

'A legend in his own lifetime, Saint-Saëns tantalises us with distinctive, lively and imaginative pieces, explored and played with terrific vivacity and style' (Classic FM Magazine)

'The Nash Ensemble, a British organisation that alters its makeup as the situation requires, has a long and distinguished history on record. This latest offering continues the tradition. Warmly recommended' (Fanfare, USA)

Tarentelle in A minor, Op 6
composer

Introduction  EnglishFrançaisDeutsch
Saint-Saëns composed his Tarentelle in A minor Op 6, for flute and clarinet accompanied by orchestra or piano, in 1857 for his colleagues flautist Louis Dorus and clarinettist Adolphe Leroy, with whom he performed the work for the first time on 28 April 1857 at Salle Pleyel. So well received was the piece that Rossini requested that Saint-Saëns play the work with the two original soloists at one of the regular musical evenings at his palatial home in Paris. It was repeated many times by these two gentlemen in the following years, sometimes accompanied by the piano and often by orchestra. By 1873 the work was sufficiently well known that it was played in New York by the Theodore Thomas orchestra; there were further performances in Monaco, Russia and Cuba. The energetic, playful exchanges between flute and clarinet and the capricious swirling motion are reminiscent of Mendelssohn, this perpetual motion being relieved by the mellifluous middle section in dialogue and unison.

from notes by Sabina Teller Ratner © 2005

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