Author Topic: Parlez Vous Francaix?  (Read 6466 times)

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Offline snyprrr

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Parlez Vous Francaix?
« on: March 26, 2012, 05:50:05 AM »
Jean Francaix (1912-1997)

http://jeanfrancaix.org/

He's got a lot of cds! All I have at the moment in the Piano Concertino, a charming, and fleeting, work, and an equalling charming and fleeting Harpsichord Concerto. How about you?
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Offline snyprrr

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Re: Parlez Vous Francaix?
« Reply #1 on: March 26, 2012, 05:51:59 AM »
He inhabits the Poulence, Milhaud, Ibert, Tailleferre,... who else is there? ???... universe. Who IS the most charming French Composer of the XX?
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Offline springrite

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Re: Parlez Vous Francaix?
« Reply #2 on: March 26, 2012, 05:56:25 AM »
He inhabits the Poulence, Milhaud, Ibert, Tailleferre,... who else is there? ???... universe. Who IS the most charming French Composer of the XX?

Ibert?

Well, if we also a bit more significance, I'd say Poulenc.

I have a couple of Francaix CDs or more, maybe, but the only one I listen to is th Flute Concertino.
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Online SonicMan46

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Re: Parlez Vous Francaix?
« Reply #3 on: March 26, 2012, 07:25:15 AM »
Probably early last year, I went on a short buying binge of the music of Jean Francaix (1912-1997) and ended up w/ five CDs (four of these were purchased from BRO for $7 each - all Hyperion discs and just checked and all are still available, for those interested). 

I really enjoy his music - charming, melodic, interesting instrument combinations, and jazzy elements at times; for starters, I would suggest the the recording w/ the Gaudier Ensemble, string and wind works that will delight - :)

 

   

Offline Hattoff

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Re: Parlez Vous Francaix?
« Reply #4 on: March 26, 2012, 10:19:53 AM »
He is antithesis to deep and meaningful and is the better for it. There are second rate composers who have got away with third rate music using deep and meaningful as an excuse. Listen to a real musician for a change.
Otherwise there is always the hammer >:D

Offline snyprrr

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Re: Parlez Vous Francaix?
« Reply #5 on: March 26, 2012, 05:35:31 PM »
Probably early last year, I went on a short buying binge of the music of Jean Francaix (1912-1997) and ended up w/ five CDs (four of these were purchased from BRO for $7 each - all Hyperion discs and just checked and all are still available, for those interested). 

I really enjoy his music - charming, melodic, interesting instrument combinations, and jazzy elements at times; for starters, I would suggest the the recording w/ the Gaudier Ensemble, string and wind works that will delight - :)

 

   

His Clarinet Quintet, Octet, and the Divertissement for bassoon and strings, have all had many recordings and the first two in particular are apexes of their respective formations. Unfailingly attractive, these pieces are substantial as well. Francaix could write longer movements as well! I used to have these pieces, and would gladly make their reacquaintance.

I just listened to the piano Concertino, and it certainly is over before you can say, Bravo!
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Offline snyprrr

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Re: Parlez Vous Francaix?
« Reply #6 on: March 27, 2012, 06:28:42 AM »
Ibert?

Well, if we also a bit more significance, I'd say Poulenc.

I have a couple of Francaix CDs or more, maybe, but the only one I listen to is th Flute Concertino.

What cd do you have that FC on?
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Offline The new erato

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Re: Parlez Vous Francaix?
« Reply #7 on: April 04, 2012, 11:42:03 PM »


New 3 CD issue, reasonably priced. In new releases on mdt.

JEAN FRANCAIX The Music for solo piano, duo & duet

Disc 1

Scherzo 2.16
Cinq portraits de jeunes filles 12.56
Eloge de la danse 11.22
Sonate pour piano 9.29
Cinq “Bis” 9.35
Danse des Trois Arlequins 1.57
Huit Variations sur le nom de Johannes Gutenberg 7.30
Nocturne 4.23

Disc 2

Huit danses exotiques (duo) 10.36
15 portraits d’enfants d’Auguste Renoir (duet) 14.19
Trois esquisses sur les touches blanches 4.37
La Promenade d’un Musicologue Eclectique 18.43
“De la Musique avant tout chose” 8.46
Pour Jacqueline 7.27

Disc 3

Si Versailles m’était conté... 15.43
Napoléon (duet) 26.39
Scuola di Ballo (duo) 24.26

Martin Jones,
Richard McMahon, Duo
Andrian Darmer, Duet

Offline snyprrr

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Re: Parlez Vous Francaix?
« Reply #8 on: September 29, 2013, 06:35:15 AM »
Wow, a whole year??

bump for Ibert
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Online SonicMan46

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Re: Parlez Vous Francaix?
« Reply #9 on: September 29, 2013, 07:37:28 AM »
Wow, a whole year??

bump for Ibert

Well, more like 1 1/2 years - I still have the same 5 CDs - the 3-disc piano set w/ Martin Jones et al looks of interest (pic below; reviews on MusicWeb & Fanfare) - just checked BRO and not available there (still some of those single Hyperion CDs are listed) - Amazon MP has a $24 offer; $21 @ MDT at the moment - the linked reviews had some reservations? - Dave :)

« Last Edit: September 29, 2013, 07:49:02 AM by SonicMan46 »

Offline snyprrr

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Re: Parlez Vous Francaix?
« Reply #10 on: September 29, 2013, 07:14:25 PM »
Well, more like 1 1/2 years - I still have the same 5 CDs - the 3-disc piano set w/ Martin Jones et al looks of interest (pic below; reviews on MusicWeb & Fanfare) - just checked BRO and not available there (still some of those single Hyperion CDs are listed) - Amazon MP has a $24 offer; $21 @ MDT at the moment - the linked reviews had some reservations? - Dave :)



Yea, that's tempting, buuut,... 3cds, hmmm,... he IS the 'lightest' French Composer.
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Offline snyprrr

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Re: Parlez Vous Francaix?
« Reply #11 on: September 30, 2013, 11:26:21 AM »
Yea, that's tempting, buuut,... 3cds, hmmm,... he IS the 'lightest' French Composer.

I think it's the Martin Jones and the Nimbus label, rather than the Francaix, here, that I'm being tempted by. Francaix does overcome me with a sweating jitteriness when thinking about collecting (much more so with Koechlin... as with many prolific French Composers). Francaix has an impressive Discograpy, but, as has been noted, a little Francaix goes a long way.

For example, I'm a big advocate of Thibaudet's album of French PCs, and love the little Francaix Piano Concertino, BUT, what if I were to then go for the Piano Concerto, would I be totally disappointed? I've read too many ho-hum reviews of Francaix's MUSIC, as with the review for the Jones Complete Piano Music (was it Scott Morrison?) where the reviewer states that... again... a little Francaix goes a long way.

I haaave heard great things about the three Hyperion releases of Orchestral Works. I did have on of the Octet-Quintet-Berger cds (there are so many with the same three/four pieces) which may be his best Chamber Music.

EDIT:

I just spent some time at the Francaix WebSite. His Works List/Discography is actually less perplexing than some of his compatriots! Lets get some of it out of the way:

Ballets = Hyperion = check

Operas didn't check

Orchestral Works = Hyperion & Wergo = check

Concertante:

This is where it bogs down. A lot of the concertante works are for both Chamber and Orchestral guises, such as the ubiquitous clarinet Theme & Variations, the bassoon Div., and so forth.

I forgot about the appealing Harpsichord Concerto. I have heard the harp , guitar, flute, piano, or the two violin. The HC and the Piano Concertino are my fav so far.

String Music = REM label =check

Cello Music = REM label = check


Wind... Harp... Ensemble Music:

Here again we run into a glut. First up are plenty of discs of the 2 Wind Quintets, with the Quartet, the Octet-Clarinet 5tet-bassoon Div.-oboe Berger lineup proliferating (see Hyperion again!).

The Wind Quintet No.1 may be Francaix's perfect work. I had totally forgotten that as I hurried today. I think it IS a Masterpiece with a capital 'M'. Or extremely close. Either way, it surely tickles my ear! I say skip all-Francaix wind program for, perhaps the Ensemble Wein-Berlin (actually, they HAVE a good all-Francaix program from Japan) or some other good various recital.

Harp Quintets = ASV = check
Piano Trio = Wergo = check
Clarinet Trio = ubiquitous
Sax Quartets = BIS = check
Clarinet+ = EMI Sabine Meyer =check
WoodWind Trio = ubiquitous
String Trio = Collins =check
Violin Sonata = Zimmermann EMI =check

That Violin Sonata's very nicely played by Zimmermann. But, what I heard of the String Quartet didn't sizzle the ears as I had hoped. I have had the Octet/Quintet package before, wish I still did.

There are two major compilations of Francaix Chamber Music, one a controversial 3cd set, and one a 2cd set on Kontrapunkt. I remember when the Kontrapunkt came out, and I'm probably glad I didn't get it. It may all just be too much Francaix, or it may take a disciplined patience to slowly sample bits here and there.

The Hyperion disc with the Octet may be this single best Francaix disc to start with. I would also ask you to consider that Thibaudet disc, if only for the Francaix and Honegger Concertinos. The Zimmermann French Recital (with Milhaud, Satie, Poulenc, and a great Auric) is also a Must Recommend. Then perhaps the BIS sax disc, or the EMI Sabine Meyer disc with Eddie Daniels of cute stuff. See? Francaix works well with others, but also NEEDS others for it all to gel together properly!

I haven't heard the Wergo set, or the Hyperion Cycle, but I hear great things about the Hyperion.

Oh, and theres:

Organ Music = some Frenchy cd all-Francaix program = check
Piano Music = Martin Jones/Nimbus Complete = double check


So, there's Francaix diluted to mercantilism! I'd say all consequential Francaix is easily available (Operas I don't know) to judiciously collect from.
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Offline Octave

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Re: Parlez Vous Francaix?
« Reply #12 on: October 09, 2013, 03:01:43 AM »
[....]for starters, I would suggest the the recording w/ the Gaudier Ensemble, string and wind works that will delight - :)



This Gaudier/Hyperion will probably be my entree, but are there any strong opinions on an alternative from the Charis Ensemble (MDG)?  Same pieces as the Hyperion disc, except the MDG disc does not include the short L'heure du berger.

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Re: Parlez Vous Francaix?
« Reply #13 on: October 09, 2013, 04:44:37 AM »
This hasn't been mentioned so far:



Les Inestimables Chroniques Du Bon Géant Gargantua for narrator and strings is substantial 40+ minutes piece in vein of Poulenc's Babar, but I guess decent knowledge of French is required since there is no translation offered. Disc fillers are oft recorded L'Heure Du Berger and Serenade.

edit: actually not so oft recorded. L'Heure is version for piano and strings, rather than the usual winds, and Serenade is not the same one as on Hyperion one but longer piece titled Serenade BEA.
« Last Edit: October 09, 2013, 05:08:10 AM by Drasko »

Online Brian

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Re: Parlez Vous Francaix?
« Reply #14 on: October 09, 2013, 04:53:47 AM »
This Gaudier/Hyperion will probably be my entree, but are there any strong opinions on an alternative from the Charis Ensemble (MDG)?  Same pieces as the Hyperion disc, except the MDG disc does not include the short L'heure du berger.

That's because L'heure is on another MDG disc with two Wind Quintets, which are fun, but the CD's total playing time is something like 48 minutes, so it's probably more economical to get the one Gaudier CD if that's the repertoire you want.

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Re: Parlez Vous Francaix?
« Reply #15 on: November 13, 2013, 12:04:10 PM »
I lately received a CD of Jean Francaix' piano music for review, and enjoyed it very much. Unfortunately, for reasons which I'm not privy to, MusicWeb can't publish the review. While looking for a taker, might as well let you guys know that it's very enjoyable. Some homages to Couperin and the 18th century; some bluesy stuff; an encore titled "For when the crowd goes wild."


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Re: Parlez Vous Francaix?
« Reply #16 on: November 13, 2013, 12:30:18 PM »
<a href="http://www.youtube.com/v/4l9Se8dPjBw" target="_blank" class="new_win">http://www.youtube.com/v/4l9Se8dPjBw</a>


In 1939 Françaix wrote  "l'Apocalypse de saint Jean". It reminds me of both Honegger and Martin. This live recording is available on Wergo




The orchestra isn't the best in the world ...


 Oratorio fantastique en trois parties pour 4 soli, choeurs mixtes et deux orchestres (1939).

I. Prologo
II. Prima parte [01:27]
III. Seconda parte [23:30]
IV. Terza parte [39:39]

Eva Lind, Soprano
Waltraud Hoffmann-Mucher, Contralto
Kurt Azesberger, Tenore
Robert Holzer, Basso.




Herbert Bolterauer, Orgel
St. Jacobi-Kantorei Göttingen
Jeunesse-Chor Linz
Göttinger Symphonieorchester diretta da Christian Simonis.

Ken B

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Re: Parlez Vous Francaix?
« Reply #17 on: February 20, 2014, 02:36:46 PM »
I have very few cds of Francaix but am always looking for more. They seem to be expensive. The Gaudier disc is outstanding though.
I don't understand the neglect. He's a skillful light neoclassicist with wit and charm.

Offline snyprrr

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Re: Parlez Vous Francaix?
« Reply #18 on: February 20, 2014, 06:19:53 PM »
I have very few cds of Francaix but am always looking for more. They seem to be expensive. The Gaudier disc is outstanding though.
I don't understand the neglect. He's a skillful light neoclassicist with wit and charm.

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Offline Mirror Image

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Re: Parlez Vous Francaix?
« Reply #19 on: February 20, 2014, 07:40:15 PM »
Cross-posted from the 'Purchases' thread:

I just couldn't help myself any longer...I'm so addicted to the Neoclassical style:





I listened to Concerto for Two Pianos on NML and was intrigued by it's admixture of Stravinskian and Poulenc-like lightness with a slow movement that contained some troubled sounding undercurrents. There's definitely more to this composer than what his 'musical image' portrays. I was also quick to dismiss Francaix as Neoclassical fluff initially but realized tonight that I was a fool, but what else is new here? ;D
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