Like any seasoned professional Chausson experimented with all of the expressive and technical possibilities of the clarinet, bringing into play the colours of its different registers, its lyricism and virtuosity, its brightness and mellowness of tone. If the Andante and Allegro reflects the influence of his two professors—Franck’s density of texture and Massenet’s refined lyricism—it also reveals an individual style characterized by abundant modulations, numerous seventh-chords on the piano, and a fusion of binary and ternary rhythms. From the opening bars a full-bodied and eloquent dialogue is established between the two instruments, low down on the keyboard, higher on the clarinet which, in the Allegro, seeks to express itself more forcefully, yet very discreetly.
from notes by Jean Gallois © 1998
English: Celia Ballantyne