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The French Music Exploration thread

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Papy Oli:
Good afternoon all,

As I mentioned in the WAYLT thread yesterday and given the potential interest, I am starting this thread to : keep a track of my new listening project, for general reference, welcoming members' recommendations and comments along the way, and hopefully maybe you guys listening along with your thoughts on particular works. This project will be focused solely on French composers, the music thereof I have mostly struggled with despite numerous entries in my own collection.

As my last two projects (British composers, non-classical blind spots) have been immensely rewarding and unlocked many of my musical struggles, it was high time I started such an approach on the composers of my own country.

I have some particular formats I am obviously keener on (orchestral, chamber music, wind concerti, solo piano, ballet), some I can struggle with (Piano Cto, Violin Cto, Songs) and some I do not go into (Operas, Organ music). However, if a particular format is a major key work for a particular composer, I will still approach and sample it (e.g. Carmen for Bizet).

Whilst I listen to Medieval, Renaissance and Baroque in smaller chunks, I still enjoy a good selection of it. So, any musical period will be good to go. I'll even consider some modern atonal music after a recent visit through the DG Boulez box which wasn’t as bad as expected  :P  Within reason  ;D

In the next post, I will post the list of composers I intend to listen to. 

I will also post as I go along the works I already have in my collection for a particular composer and will revisit. Otherwise, anything else new or being recommended as we go along will be streamed on Qobuz.

I’ll then update the initial list with what I have listened to, liked, discard in that initial composers’ list as time goes on. I'll reserve some posts for that purpose of amendments/additions.

Not sure yet in which order I will approach the composers but I think about keeping Ravel & Debussy towards the end, it might help by breaking in gently with other composers’ smaller outputs first.

First thing first, if you think I have missed some particular composers worthy of discovery, please shout and I'll add them.

Thank you, welcome aboard and hope you enjoy it too 8)

Papy Oli:

(NB: see post underneath for composers and works already explored)

Adam, Adolphe  (1803-1856)
Airs de cour (Étienne Moulinie, Antoine Boësset, Pierre Guédron)
Aubert, Louis (1877–1968)
Berlioz, Hector (1803-69)
Bonis, Mel  (1858-1937)
Boulanger, Lili (1893-1918)
Chaminade, Cécile  (1857–1944)
Couperin, François (1668-1733)
Couperin, Louis
Damase, Jean-Michel (1928-2013)
Delalande, Michel Richard (1657-1726)
Dhomont, Francis (1926-    )
Dubois, Theodore (1837-1924)
Dufay, Guillaume (1397-1474)
Dukas, Paul (1865-1935)
Duparc, Henri (1848-1933)
Dupré, Marcel (1886-1971)
Dusapin, Pascal (1955-)
Ferrari, Luc (1929-2005)
Ferroud, Pierre-Octave  (1900-36)
Françaix, Jean (1912-97)
Gilles, Jean (1668-1705)
Gouvy, Louis Theodore (1819-98)
Grigny, Nicolas de  (1672-1703)
Grisey, Gérard (1946-1998)
Honegger, Arthur (1892-1955)
Landowski, Marcel (1915-1999)
Lully, Jean-Baptiste
Machaut, Guillaume de (1300-77)
Marais, Marin  (1656-1728)
Mariotte, Antoine
Méhul, Étienne Nicolas (1763-1817)
Murail, Tristan (1947-)
Offenbach, Jacques (1819-80)
Onslow, George (1784-1853)
Poulenc, Francis (1899-1963)
Prez, Josquin des (c.1450-1521)
Sainte Colombe Père
Schmitt, Florent (1870-1958)
Vitry, Philippe de (1291-1361)

Papy Oli:
EXPLORED COMPOSERS (with works listened to and found of interest)

Barraqué, Jean (1928-73) - Complete works (CPO twofer)

Campra, André (1660-1744) - Messe de Requiem

Chabrier, Emmanuel (1841-1894) - Joyeuse marche, Gwendoline, habanera, Espana, Lamento, Bourrée Fantasque, Suite Pastorale, L'Etoile, Le Roi malgré lui.

Charpentier, Marc-Antoine (1643-1704) - Leçons des Ténèbres, Motets pour le Grand dauphin, Litanies de la Vierge, Arts Florissants, Messe pour Mr Mauroy

Chausson, Ernest (1855-99) - Symphony in B flat, Poème, Poème de l'amour et de la mer , Piano Quartet in A major, Concert for Piano, Violin and String Quartet

Cras, Jean (1879-1932) - Piano works, orchestral works, Melodies

Dubois, Pierre-Max (1930-1995): Quatuor pour clarinettes, Saxophone Concerto No. 2, Quatuor pour trombones, Rapsodie, Romance, Clarinet Sonatina, Epitaph, Sonata di Mady

Duruflé, Maurice (1902-86) - Op. 3 Prélude, Récitatif et Variations pour Flûte, alto et piano, Notre Père pour chœur a cappella , Quatre Motets sur des thèmes grégoriens pour chœur a cappella, Op. 10, Messe “Cum Jubilo” pour chœur de barytons et orgue, Op. 11, Requiem pour soli, chœurs et orgue, Op. 9 , Trois Danses

Escaich, Thierry (1965-): Baroque Song pour orchestre, Concerto pour clarinette et orchestre, Errinerung, Suite symphonique de « Claude », Magic Circus, Mecanic Song, Le Bal, Concerto Pour Orgue et Orchestre.

Farrenc, Louise (1804-75) - Symphony No.1,2,3, Piano quintet no.1 & 2, Nonet

Franck, César (1822-90): Symphony in D minor, Violin sonata, Violin Sonata (Cello Version), Trios concertants, Prelude Chorale et Fugue, Prelude Aria & Finale, Piano Quintet, Variations Symphoniques, Le Chasseur Maudit, Les Eolides.

Ibert, Jacques (1890-1962) : Escales, Divertissement, La Ballade de la Geole de Reading, Piano music, Suite Symphonique "Paris" Ouverture de fëte, Bacchanale, Symphonie Marine, Cappricio, 3 pièces brèves, Cello Cto, 2 movements, 2 Stèles orientées, 5 pièces en trio, Le jardinier de Samos, Le Chevalier Errant, Les Amours de Jupiter, String quartet, Flute Concerto, Concerti di Camera for Alto Saxophone and 11 instruments.

Koechlin, Charles (1867-1950) - La Course de Printemps Op.95, La Méditation de Purun Baghat, Op. 159, Les Bandar-log, Op. 176, "Scherzo des singes ", String quartets No.1 & 2, Piano music for 4 hands, piano quintet, string quartet No.3, choeurs and melodies, Oboe Sonata Op.58, Bassoon sonata Op. 71, Suite for English Horn, Op. 185, Clarinet Sonata No.1, op.85, Les Confidences d'un joueur de Clarinette Op.141, Clarinet Sonata No. 2, Op. 86, Flute chamber works, Vers la voûte étoilée, Op. 129,  Khamma (Debussy arr. C. Koechlin), Ballade Op.50, Preludes Op.209, Le Portrait de Daisy Hamilton, Op. 140, Viola Sonata, Op. 53, Cello Sonata, Op. 66, Paysages et marines, Op. 63, Nouvelles sonatines No. 3, Op. 87, Second album de Lilian, Op. 149, Au loin, Op. 2, No. 2,  Nouvelles sonatines No. 1, Op. 87, Premier album de Lilian, Op. 139, The Seven Stars' Symphony, Op. 132, Le Buisson Ardent, Les Heures Persanes

Lalo, Edouard (1823-1892) - Symphony in G minor, Rapsodie Norvégienne, Scherzo in D minor, Divertissement, Namouna, Cello Concerto, Symphonie Espagnole, Piano trios

Léonin & Pérotin - Sacred Music from Notre Dame Cathedral.

Magnard, Albéric (1865-1914) - Symphony No. 1 in C minor, Op. 4, Symphony No. 2 in E major, Op. 6, Symphony No. 3 in B-Flat Minor, Op. 11, Symphony No. 4 in C-Sharp Minor, Op. 21, Overture in A Major, Op. 10, Chant funebre, Op. 9, Hymne à la justice, Op. 14, Hymne a Venus, Op. 17, Suite d'orchestre dans le style ancien, Op. 2

Massenet, Jules (1842-1912) - Ballet music, orchestral suites, Piano concerto

Pierné, Gabriel (1863-1937) - Fantaisie-Impromptu, Violin Sonata, Serenade in A major, Berceuse, Caprice, Piano Quintet, Prelude de concert sur un theme de Purcell, Preludio e fughetta, pastorale variée, Solo de concert, Danseuse Espagnole, L'An Mil, Paysages Franciscains, Cathedrales, Piano Concerto, Suites Ramuntcho, Scherzo Caprice, Cysalide et le Chevre Pied, Melodies

Rameau, Jean-Philippe (1683-1764) : Les Indes Galantes (orch. & harpsichord versions), Pieces de Clavecin, Overtures, Grands Motets.

Roger-Ducasse, Jean (1873-1954) - Prelude d'un ballet, Prelude d'un ballet, Suite Francaise, Epithalame, Marche Française, Nocturne de Printemps, petite suite, le joli jeu du furet, Orphée, piano music

Ropartz, Guy (1864-1955) - Symphonies 1 - 4 - 2 - 5, violin sonatas 1 & 3, cello sonata, petite symphonie, pastorales pour orchestre.

Saint-Saëns, Camille (1835-1921) - Cello Concerto No 1 In A Minor Op. 33, Piano Trio No.1 in F Major, Violin Concerto No.03 in B minor, Danse Macabre, Havanaise, Introduction et Rondo Capriccioso, Le Carnaval des Animaux, Samson et Dalila (Extracts), Symphony No.03 in C minor “Organ”, Piano Concerto No.1 in D Major Op.17, Piano Concerto No.4 in C minor, Op. 44, Piano Concerto No.2 in G minor, Op.22, Piano Concerto No.3 in E Flat Major Op.29, Piano Concerto No.5 in F Major Op.103, Septet in E Flat Major Op.65, Tarentelle in E minor Op.6, Bassoon Sonata in G major Op.168, Piano Quartet in B Flat Major Op.41, Piano Quintet in A minor Op.14, Oboe Sonata in D Major Op.166, Clarinet Sonata in E Flat Major Op.167, Caprice sur des Airs Danois et Russes Op.79

Sauguet, Henri (1901-89) : symphony No.1, No.2, No.3, No.4, Guitar music, Mélodies (Songs), String quartets, Les Forains (ballet)

Satie, Erik (1866-1925) - Gnossiennes, Ogives, Gymnopedies, Socrate, Trois Melodies, Trois Autres Melodies, Sarabandes, Pieces Froides, Trois Sonneries de la Rose+Croix, Je Te Veux.

Tournemire, Charles (1870-1939) : symphonies 2, 6, 7, Songs.

Varèse, Edgard (1883-1965) : Tuning up, Amériques, Arcana, Un Grand Sommeil noir, Nocturnal

Widor, Charles-Marie (1844-1937) : Organ symphonies

Papy Oli:
Debussy, Claude (1862-1918)
Fauré, Gabriel (1845-1924)
Ravel, Maurice (1875-1937)

Lots of it - loving it  0:)

Papy Oli:
Henry, Pierre (1927-2017) - Messe pour le temps présent

Indy, Vincent d' (1851-1931) : Jour d’été à la montagne, La Forêt enchantée, Souvenirs, Karadec Suite,  Symphony No. 2, Tableaux de voyage, Various orchestral works.

Dutilleux, Henri (1916-2013) - Symphonies, Ainsi la Nuit, Métaboles, Tout un Monde lointain, Shadows of Time, Piano music

Delibes, Léo (1836-91) - Sylvia, Coppélia

Bizet, Georges (1838-75) - Arlésienne 1 & 2, Symphony in C, Une chasse à la forêt d'Ostie, Carmen (highlights), Jolie fille de Perth (extracts), Jeux d'enfants

Daniel-Lesur, Jean-Yves (1908-2002) - Le Cantique des Cantiques

Messiaen, Olivier (1908-92) - Cinq rechants for vocal ensemble; Various extracts from his boxsets.

Jolivet, André (1905-74) - Ephitalame

Milhaud, Darius (1892-1974) - some String Quartets, Boeuf sur le Toit, extracts of symphonies, chamber music, suite provençale, suite française.

Tombelle, Fernand de la (1854-1928) - Melodies, String quartet

Hahn, Reynaldo (1874-1947) - Complete songs

Canteloube, Joseph (1879-1957) - Chansons d'Auvergne

Roussel, Albert (1869-1937) - Various bits from the Erato edition.

Gounod, Charles (1818-93) - Ballet music from Faust

Vierne, Louis (1870-1937) - Melodies, Organ music, Preludes

Alkan, Charles-Valentin (1813-88) - Various etudes, the 3 Concerto de Camera

Boulez, Pierre (1925-2016) - Pli selon Pli, Marteau sans Maître, Dérives, Piano Sonatas

Pleyel, Ignaz (1757-1831) - CPO extracts of Prussian quartets, Piano trios, Clarinet concertos


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