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Hyperion Records

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Les meules de foin à St Clement by Daniel de Monfreid (1856-1929)
Sotheby’s Picture Library
Track(s) taken from CDA67100
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

'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, Op 136
composer

Prémice  [5'17]
Joyeuseté  [2'45]

Introduction  EnglishFrançaisDeutsch
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

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