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Track(s) taken from CDA67100

Triptyque, Op 136

composer

Philippe Graffin (violin), Pascal Devoyon (piano)
Recording details: January 1999
Henry Wood Hall, London, United Kingdom
Produced by Mark Brown
Engineered by Antony Howell & Julian Millard
Release date: October 1999
Total duration: 12 minutes 25 seconds

Cover artwork: Les meules de foin à St Clement by Daniel de Monfreid (1856-1929)
Sotheby’s Picture Library
 
1
Prémice  [5'17]
2
3
Joyeuseté  [2'45]

Reviews

'listen to this wonderful new disc from Philippe Graffin and Pascal Devoyon. From the turbulent emotions of the opening to the furiously driven moto perpetuo of the ultimately triumphant conclusion, they hold the listener spellbound … There is no doubt about the sheer pleasure which Graffin and Devoyon find in this music, with a performance enducing a wit and heartwarming intimacy that also extend to the smaller works … Strongly recommended’ (BBC Music Magazine)

'Fresh from the extraordinary success of his Saint-Saëns concertos, Philippe Graffin proves even more alluring in the French master's chamber music. This spellbinding performance had me lost in rapt concentration. The rarities that make up the rest of the disc are also sheer delight. A wonderful recording in every way' (Classic CD)

‘Philippe Graffin is the sensitive violinist who often conveys a sense of rapture in this music. Pascal Devoyon is a splendid partner in this welcome recording’ (MDC Classical Express)

‘Graffin is one of the most elegant violinists of the younger generation, his performances of Saint-Saëns having that rare thistledown quality that creates a remarkable crystalline beauty … In passages of more substance, he is equally persuasive, despatching technical difficulties with consummate ease … In Devoyon, he has a partner that matches his radiant readings, the clarity of articulation complementing Graffin’s silvery tone’ (Yorkshire Post)
Triptyque of 1912 is formed of three contrasting character-pieces. Prémice (prelude, starting-point), gentle and wistful apart from a surge of passion near the end, shows Saint-Saëns’s continuing interest in unusual metres and rhythms. It is predominantly in 5/4 time (still fairly uncommon in 1912) whose ambiguities are exploited to make a delightfully flexible melodic line. The introductory passage for piano, however, suggests a quite different metre, of seven, quicker, quaver beats, so that it is some time before the true pulse of the music emerges. Triptyque was dedicated to Queen Elizabeth of the Belgians, herself a violinist, which perhaps explains the second piece’s title, Vision congolaise, whose modal inflexions, habanera-style rhythms and lazy tropical atmosphere recall the Havanaise for violin and orchestra of twenty-five years earlier. Joyeuseté is a brisk scherzo, virtually monothematic and notable for its sustained energy and vigour.

from notes by Duncan Druce © 1999

Triptyque (1912) est constitué de trois pièces de caractère contrastées. Prémice, douce et mélancolique, à l’exception d’un accès de passion vers la fin, montre l’indéfectible intérêt de Saint-Saëns pour les mètres et les rythmes inhabituels: elle est essentiellement à 5/4 (chose encore peu courante en 1912), mesure dont les ambiguïtés sont exploitées pour créer une ligne mélodique délicieusement flexible. Le passage introductif, dévolu au piano, suggère toutefois un mètre fort différent, de sept mesures de croches, plus rapides—d’où un certain temps avant l’émergence du véritable rythme. Triptyque fut dédié à la reine Élisabeth de Belgique, elle-même violoniste, ce qui explique peut-être le titre de la deuxième pièce, Vision congolaise, dont les inflexions modales, les rythmes de habanera et l’atmosphère de nonchalance tropicale rappellent la Havanaise pour violon et orchestre, écrite vingt-cinq ans auparavant. Joyeuseté, un scherzo animé, presque monothématique, vaut pour son énergie et sa vigueur soutenues.

extrait des notes rédigées par Duncan Druce © 1999
Français: Hypérion

Triptyque aus dem Jahr 1912 besteht aus drei kontrastierenden Charakterstücken. Prémice (Anfang), bis auf einen Ausbruch von Leidenschaft gegen Ende sanft und wehmütig gestimmt, beweist Saint-Saëns’ anhaltendes Interesse an ungewöhnlichen Metren und Rhythmen. Das Stück ist überweigend im (1912 noch ziemlich unüblichen) 5/4-Takt gehalten, dessen Mehrdeutigkeit ausgenutzt wird, um eine herrlich flexible Melodielinie zu erzeugen. Die einleitende Passage für Klavier deutet jedoch ein ganz anderes Metrum aus sieben schnelleren Achtelschlägen an, weshalb es sehr lange dauert, bis der wahre Pulsschlag der Musik deutlich wird. Triptyque ist der belgischen Königin Elisabeth gewidmet, die selbst Violinistin war. Das erklärt vielleicht den Titel Vision congolaise für das zweite Stück, dessen modale Akzente, Habanera-Rhythmen und träge tropische Atmosphäre an die fünfundzwanzig Jahre zuvor entstandene Havanaise erinnern. Joyeuseté ist ein forsches Scherzo, so gut wie monothematisch und bemerkenswert wegen seiner anhaltenden Energie und Vitalität.

aus dem Begleittext von Duncan Druce © 1999
Deutsch: Anne Steeb/Bernd Müller

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