These Bach transcriptions for solo organ by Andre Isoir take us from the church to the Collegium Musicum, from the Sinfonia of the Cantata BWV129 to the Concerto for four harpsichords, shedding new light on some of the Cantor's most famous pieces. The performances by organists Michel Bouvard and Francois Espinasse, professors at the Conservatoires Nationaux Superieurs de Musique of Paris and Lyon, are presented as a musical tribute to their former teacher.
Seven of the eight pieces share the unusual instrumentation of clarinet, trumpet (or piano), cello, electric guitar, and violin. (A second violin is added on one tune.) Those familiar with Houle's European lens or with the sophisticated sounds favored by the label, Between the Lines, will not be surprised by the unique blend of densely abstract harmonies that permeate many of his pieces. These compositions require concentrated listening; they are multi-layered, with multiple directions. Divorced from traditional small group formulations, there is a sibylline quality throughout…
Two titans of the French repertoire, André Cluytens and Samson François, take the listener deep into the spellbinding world of Maurice Ravel. The dualities inherent in the composer’s exquisitely crafted music – and the contrasting, yet complementary characters of the masterly conductor and maverick pianist – are exemplified in their interpretations of the two piano concertos: the Concerto in G, charming, sparkling and gently melancholy, and the Concerto for the Left Hand, angular and defiant, with moments of both brutality and heroism.
Jordi Savall is an exceptional figure in today’s music world. For more than thirty years he has been devoted to the rediscovery of neglected musical treasures: thirty years of research, study and interpretation, both as violist and musical director. He has restored an essential repertoire to all those with ears to hear it. Beyond the happy few who already revered the instrument, he has created a wide audience for the viola da gamba, an instrument so refined that it takes us to the very brink of silence.
Gossec made an important contribution to the development of French symphonic music and played a central role in Parisian musical life for almost three-quarters of a century. The opera 'Le Triomphe de la République' was composed in 1793 folowing the French Revolution and wonderfully demonstrates the musical movement that France experienced following the change in political climate. Music was recognized as a medium for the diffusion of new ideas and 'Le Triomphe de la République' was a case in point. It was written in the wake of popular enthusiasm at the news of the army's victory at the battle of Vlamy in 1792 against the anti-French troops led by the Duke of Brunswick. It features folk music and popular dances of the day reflecting a kind of life quite distinct from that of intellectual, aristocratic society.
For all fans of the great master Francois Ozon. This collection consists of six different genres short movies directed by Francois Ozon :
1. Action vérité
2. Photo de famile
5. Mes parents un jour d'ete
6. Doigts dans le ventre, Les
Claudine Francois is a beautiful pianist, and we love her work on other records – but she sounds especially great here in the company of bassist Hubert Dupont and drummer Hamid Drake – both players who bring a heck of a lot of texture to the session! Dupont's bass is wonderful – often more melodic than rhythm, at a level that's also echoed by Drake's always-creative work on the drum kit – providing these shifting shapes, like different platforms in sound – from which Francois' piano lines take off boldly.
The first performances of Les Femmes Vengées (The Avenged Women) in 1775 restored the fortunes of Francois-André Danican Philidor, which had been wavering since the great success of Tom Jones a decade earlier. His opéra-comique, which foreshadows the plot of Mozarts Così fan tutte (Mozart had been in Paris during the first performances of Philidors work), offers delicious opportunities for mock-indignation and repartee in its arias and ensembles. This recording presents the complete music. Opera Lafayette and Ryan Browns recording of Philidors Sancho Pança [8.660274] was hailed as a witty, authentic interpretation by the American Record Guide.
John Eliot Gardiner has proved himself a doughty champion of the later French Baroque, cultivating credible performing methods and unearthing undeservedly neglected repertoire. These nine CDs offer both rich musical rewards and an insight into developing approaches to interpretation. The earliest repertoire in the set is the volume of Francois Couperin's 'apotheoses' of Lully and Corelli, a sensual and programmatic feast in which this charmingly didactic composer attempts to reconcile the best of French and Italian taste.
French pianist Francois Couturier was inspired by Soviet film director Andrei Tarkovsky (1932-1986) in creating the music on this album, but it should be noted at the outset that the album does not contain any music actually used in Tarkovsky's films in general or his 1983 movie Nostalghia in particular. Rather, Couturier, who states his admiration for Tarkovsky in his brief liner notes, saying that has "seen all his films over and over again," tried to evoke the mood of those films in writing these pieces of music, several of which share titles with them.
'This disc is remarkable by any standards. First of all, the music. Francois-Joseph Gossec is hardly a household name, even among lovers of the Classical Era in music, and yet his symphonies established the French symphonic tradition. Along with Mehul, he was the leading composer of Revolutionary France, and his incredible Requiem, written in 1760 and published 20 years later, was aptly chosen to commemorate French citizens killed in the storming of the Bastille in 1789.