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CD Review

Jean Françaix

  • Symphony in E Major
  • Sérénade B-E-A
  • Overture anacréontique
  • Pavane pour un Génie vivant
  • Scuola di Ballo
The Ulster Orchestra/Thierry Fischer
Hyperion CDA67323 71m DDD
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The soundworld of Jean Françaix is an easy, relaxed one that is marvellously transmitted in these ideally recorded and idiomatic performances.

The Symphony is a miracle of unforced motion and also reflects Françaix's use of melodious yet ingeniously crafted music. Fischer is the ideal exponent especially in the buoyant and lightweight outer movements. Conversely, the Sérénade is almost mysterious and intrinsically relaxed but Fischer is also an ideal exponent of the piece. The short Overture is also brilliantly done whilst the aptly titled 'Scuola di Ballo' contains some of the most relaxed music that I've heard from a modern composer.

This disc is indeed a precious document that reveals Françaix's intrinsic capabilities of making small look beautiful. The recording is clear and vivid whilst the presentation features a reproduction of Degas' stunning 'The Dance Foyer', surely a must for all collectors of impressionism. This is impressionistic music conveyed in lovable and beautiful performances all around. Highly recommended.

Copyright © 2002, Gerald Fenech