Françaix: L'heure du berger, Divertissement, Clarinet Quintet & À huit
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Jean Françaix: a quintessentially French composer following in the tradition of Saint-Saëns, Poulenc and Satie; composer of some one-hundred-and-fifty works; and virtuoso pianist in his own right.

The four works on this recording were composed between 1942 (the Divertissement—very much a 'distraction' during the Nazi Occupation of France) and 1977 (the Clarinet Quintet). All four share a high degree of compositional mastery, but this is always embedded within an air of grace, of profound charm, and of wit. It is perhaps this sense of humour which has so endeared Françaix's music to generations of musicians and music-lovers. But despite the facts that L'heure du berger was composed in honour of a Parisian restaurant who were to use it as 'background' music, that Françaix self-deprecatingly passed off A huit as a 'stop-gap to fill a programme' for the Vienna Octet, and that the Divertissement contains unashamedly blatant musical jokes, these compositions are unmistakably the work of an expert, a distinctively 'Gallic' artist.

CDA67036  61 minutes 35 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)