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Hyperion Records

Click cover art to view larger version
Front illustration by Audrey Kellow (b?)
Track(s) taken from CDA67036
Recording details: December 1997
Henry Wood Hall, London, United Kingdom
Produced by Arthur Johnson
Engineered by Antony Howell & Julian Millard
Release date: June 1998
Total duration: 7 minutes 22 seconds

'Four delightful works. Music which is as easy on the ear as it is beguilingly performed. A magical disc ideal for unwinding after a long hard day at the chalk face' (Classic CD)

'An absolute must for every Françaix addict' (Fanfare, USA)

'An hour's worth of pure delight' (Hi-Fi News)

L'heure du berger

Les vieux beaux  [2'13]
Pin-up girls  [2'06]

Introduction  EnglishFrançaisDeutsch
In 1947 Françaix composed his delightful suite for piano and wind quintet L’heure du berger, subtitled ‘Musique de Brasserie’ in honour of a noted Paris restaurant. This was a kind of musique d’ameublement (‘background music’ might be an apt translation) score, such as was written in those days especially for Parisian fashion shows and the like, but—as one might expect from this fastidious composer—it is so well written that it stands independently as a highly appealing score. Technically, Françaix uses variation technique in this work, which falls into three short movements. The first opens humorously with clarinet and bassoon passing a simple phrase, one to the other, as if we had a maître d’ noted for his fun ushering us to our table. A faster new theme appears as the waiters busy about us before the opening idea returns. The central slow movement has a languid atmosphere, decorated with clarinet arabesques which gradually grow and proliferate in brilliance to create a vividly fascinating scene. The finale is a dazzling piece of much rhythmic subtlety; music which smiles throughout and is adorable in its tingling good humour before a scrap of a music-hall tune glides across the fabric of the score. The rhythmic luminosity of the music returns to end L’heure du berger in a riot of colour.

from notes by Robert Matthew-Walker © 1998

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