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Track(s) taken from CDA66414

Fourteen Pieces for flute and piano, Op 157b


Fenwick Smith (flute), Martin Amlin (piano)
Recording details: June 1989
Jordan Hall, New England Conservatory of Music, Boston, Massachusetts, USA
Produced by James Donohue
Engineered by Joel Gordon
Release date: June 1990
Total duration: 12 minutes 22 seconds


'Entrancing, enthralling, and entertaining … I shall not part with my copy until the Sheriff knocks at the door, and then only grudgingly!' (American Record Guide)

'An absolute classic, not only for Koechlin enthusiasts but for lovers of the flute and deft artistry' (Fanfare, USA)
The French flutist Jan Merry, in a letter to Charles Koechlin’s widow shortly after the composer’s death in 1950, eloquently described the appeal of his writing for the flute: ‘This restrained emotion, always dignified, very French; without exaggeration, without affectation—how directly it goes to the heart and to the hearts of those who listen!’ Perhaps the Fourteen Pieces, Op 157b, best exemplify these qualities. They testify also to Koechlin’s skill as a miniaturist: each of these brief pieces establishes its particular character and mood with great economy of means. They were composed originally for unaccompanied flute as Op 157; Koechlin added a piano part later. A partial first performance was given in 1941 by Jan Merry and the composer. Op 157b is dedicated to the flutist Paul Dommel and his wife, Amy Dommel-Diéry, a pianist. They were, like Jan Merry, devoted friends of Koechlin and his music.

from notes by Fenwick Smith © 1990

Le flûtiste français, Jan Merry, dans une lettre addressée à la veuve de Charles Koechlin peu après la mort du compositeur en 1950, décrivit avec éloquence l’attrait de son écriture pour la flûte: «Cette émotion contenue, toujours digne, bien française, sans faux lyrisme, sans affectation, comme elle va droit au cœur, et aux cœurs de ceux qui écoutent!» Les Quatorze Pièces Op 157b illustrent peut-être le mieux ces qualités. Elles témoignent aussi du don merveilleux de Koechlin comme miniaturiste. Il établit dans chacune de ces brèves pièces un caractère et un atmosphère particulière avec une formidable économie de moyens. À l’origine, elles furent composées pour flûte seule comme l’Op 157; Koechlin ajouta plus tard la partie de piano.

extrait des notes rédigées par Fenwick Smith © 1990
Français: Anne Rousseau

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