Farrenc - Wind Sextet & Trios | Brilliant Classics 95319

Farrenc - Wind Sextet & Trios

£8.96

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Label: Brilliant Classics

Cat No: 95319

Format: CD

Number of Discs: 2

Genre: Chamber

Release Date: 21st April 2017

Contents

About

Brilliant Classics already has one disc of Louise Farrenc (1804‐1875) in its catalogue, which is one more than most recording companies. The Piano Quintets (BC94815) were an ear‐opening discovery and delight for anyone interested in 19th‐century chamber music; Farrencís originality is plain to hear, and in these works she developed the genre beyond what had seemed to be its Brahmsian apex.

A more extensive opportunity is now offered to become acquainted with an aesthetic of great formal confidence and expressive delight, with these new recordings of Farrencís two piano trios and her Wind Sextet. The trios were frequently performed during the years after their composition in 1844, five years after the piano quintets. By this time she had been appointed Professor of Piano at the Paris Conservatoire; the only woman in so senior a rank until the turn of the new century.

Remarkably, the Sextet of 1851‐2, foreshadowing Poulencís composition 80 years later, is the first instance of a work that combines the piano with a full wind complement of flute, oboe, clarinet, horn and bassoon. All three works bear traces of neo‐classical echoes of Hummel and Mendelssohn. If, from a structural point of view, they follow Classical models ‐ sonataallegro or sonata‐rondo form in the outer movements, framing an animated Scherzo and Trio (except for the Sextet, in only three movements) and a rhapsodic slow movement ‐ his harmonic progressions are notably adventurous, often leading the listener into unexpected territory.

The Sextet, in a dramatic C minor, is a muscular, concertante piece, in which the piano is as dominant as the piano quintets by Brahms and Schumann, but any momentary imbalance is soon overcome, and the equilibrium between the instruments is generally governed with extreme care. The tone of the two trios is more intimate and the conversation between instruments more delicate and mellow. Clarinet and cello are ideally matched by their dark colours (as can be noted in the soulful Adagio), whilst the Flute Trio, in a wistful E minor, is a rare example of a 19th‐century chamber work featuring an instrument that by then was regarded primarily as a member of the symphony orchestra.

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