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French Piano Concertos (FLAC)

French Piano Concertos (FLAC)
French Piano Concertos (FLAC)

Number of Discs: 12
Format: FLAC (image+cue)
Label: Brilliant Classics
Catalogue: 95899
Release: 2019
Size: 3.03 GB
Recovery: +3%
Scan: yes

CD 01
Saint-Saëns: Piano Concerto No. 1 in D Major, Op. 17
01. I. Andante – Allegro assai
02. II. Andante sostenuto quasi adagio
03. III. Allegro con fuoco

Saint-Saëns: Piano Concerto No. 2 in G Minor, Op. 22
04. I. Andante sostenuto
05. II. Allegro scherzando
06. III. Presto

Saint-Saëns: Piano Concerto No. 4 in C Minor, Op. 44
07. I. Allegro moderato
08. II. Allegro vivace

CD 02
Saint-Saëns: Piano Concerto No. 3 in E-Flat Major, Op. 29
01. I. Moderato assai
02. II. Andante – III. Allegro non troppo

Saint-Saëns: Piano Concerto No. 5 in F Major, Op. 103
03. I. Allegro animato
04. II. Andante
05. III. Molto allegro

06. Saint-Saëns: Africa, Op. 89

CD 03
Boïeldieu: Piano Concerto in F Major
01. I. Allegro
02. II. Pastorale con variazioni

Massenet: Piano Concerto in E-Flat Major
03. I. Andante moderato
04. II. Largo
05. III. Airs slovaques. Allegro

Pierné: Piano Concerto in C Minor, Op. 12
06. I. Allegro
07. II. Scherzando
08. III. Final

CD 04
Lalo: Piano Concerto in F Minor
01. I. Lento – Allegro
02. II. Lento
03. III. Allegro

04. Chaminade: Concertstück in C-Sharp Minor, Op. 40

Roussel: Piano Concerto in G Major, Op. 36
05. I. Allegro molto
06. II. Adagio
07. III. Allegro con spirit

Françaix: Piano Concerto
08. I. —
09. II. Andante
10. III. —
11. IV. Allegro

CD 05
Alkan: Concerto da camera No. 1 in A Minor, Op. 10
01. I. Allegro
02. II. Adagio
03. III. Allegro

Alkan: Concerto da camera No. 2 in C-Sharp Minor, Op. 10
04. I. Allegro moderato
05. II. Adagio
06. III. Primo movimento

Alkan: Concerto da camera No. 3 in C-Sharp, Op. 10
07. I. Andante con moto

D’Indy: Symphony on a French Mountain Air, Op. 25
08. I. Assez lent – Modérément animé
09. II. Assez modéré, mais sans lenteur
10. III. Animé

CD 06
Hahn: Piano Concerto in E Major
01. I. Improvisation – Modéré
02. II. Danse
03. III. Rêverie
04. IV. Toccata – Finale

05. Fauré: Ballade in F-Sharp Major, Op. 19
06. Saint-Saëns: Rhapsodie d’Auvergne, Op. 73
07. Saint-Saëns: Wedding Cake, Op. 76

CD 07
01. Franck: Symphonic Variations, FWV 46
02. Franck: Les Djinns in F-Sharp Minor, FWV 45

Franck: Piano Concerto No. 2 in B Minor, Op. 11
03. I. Allegro maestoso
04. II. Adagio
05. III. Rondo. Allegro

CD 08
Ravel: Piano Concerto in G Major
01. I. Allegramente
02. II. Adagio assai
03. III. Presto

04. Ravel: Piano Concerto for the Left Hand in D Major, M.82

Debussy: Fantaisie for Piano and Orchestra, L. 73
05. I. Andante ma non troppo
06. II. Lento e molto espressivo – III. Allegro molto

CD 09
Milhaud: Le carnaval d’aix, Op. 83b
01. I. Le corso
02. II. Tartaglia
03. III. Isabelle
04. IV. Rosetta
05. V. Le bon et le mauvais tuteur
06. VI. Coviello
07. VII. Le capitaine cartuccia
08. VIII. Polichinelle
09. IX. Polka
10. X. Cinzio
11. XI. Souvenir de Rio
12. XII. Final

13. Milhaud: Ballade, Op. 61

Milhaud: 5 Études, Op. 63
14. I. Vif
15. II. Doucement
16. III. Fugues. Vif et rythmé
17. IV. Sombre
18. V. Romantique. Très animé

Milhaud: Piano Concerto No. 1, Op. 127
19. I. Très vif
20. II. Barcarolle
21. III. Finale

22. Milhaud: Fantaisie pastorale, Op. 188

CD 10
Milhaud: Piano Concerto No. 2, Op. 225
01. I. Animé
02. II. Romance
03. III. Bien modérément animé

Milhaud: Piano Concerto No. 3, Op. 270
04. I. Alerte et avec élégance
05. II. Lent
06. III. Avec esprit et élégance

Milhaud: Piano Concerto No. 4, Op. 295
07. I. Animé
08. II. Très lent
09. III. Joyeux

Milhaud: Piano Concerto No. 5, Op. 346
10. I. Alerte
11. II. Nonchalant
12. III. Joyeux

CD 11
Boulanger: Fantaisie for ‘Piano and Orchestra
01. I. Lent. Grave – Allegro – Più vivo. Tempo molto marcato – Moderato – Andante – Allegro

02. Tailleferre: Ballade

Poulenc: Piano Concerto in C-Sharp Minor, FP 146
03. I. Allegretto
04. II. Andante con moto
05. III. Rondo à la française. Presto giocoso

CD 12
Françaix: Concerto for 2 Pianos and Orchestra
01. I. Allegro giocoso
02. II. Doppio più lento
03. III. Scherzando
04. IV. Allegro tieramente

Poulenc: Les animaux modèles, FP 111
05. I. Le petit jour. Très calme
06. IV. Le lion amoureux. Passionnément animé
07. V. L’Homme entre deux âges et ses deux maîtresses. Prestissimo
08. VI. La mort et le bûcheron. Très lent
09. VII. Les deux coqs. Très modéré
10. VIII. Le repas de midi

Poulenc: Concerto for 2 Pianos in D Minor, FP 61
11. I. Allegro ma non troppo
12. II. Larghetto
13. III. Finale

This gorgeous set is dedicated to piano concertante works from the pens of French composers – infinitely varied compositions that nevertheless each bear the unmistakeable flavour of their native idiom. The French piano concerto was a late arrival on the European stage, and even then many French composers would opt to combine piano and orchestra outside the confines of strict concerto form. This 12-CD set homes in on the genre’s heyday – the century or so spanning Saint-Saëns’s pioneering First Piano Concerto (1858) to Françaix’s nostalgic Concerto for 2 Pianos (1965) – along with two precursors: a two-movement Concerto in F (1792) by the ‘French Mozart’ Boieldieu and the early Concerti da camera Op.10 (1832–38) by the maverick genius Alkan.

The set begins with the five piano concertos that traverse Saint-Saëns’s career, along with concertante pieces he composed in the 1880s during a 20-year hiatus between his Fourth (1875) and Fifth (1896). The ’80s were fertile for Saint-Saëns’s contemporary Franck, as well, who returned to the piano after decades focusing on the organ and on choral music to create such piano concertante masterworks as Les Djinns and the Variations symphoniques.

The latter work was an influence on Claude Debussy’s Fantaisie, in terms of the roles assigned to the orchestra and solo piano and the work’s structure, and like Franck before him, Debussy would disown this youthful work to move in a new direction – surprising given the warm reception enjoyed today by the early works of both composers.

The influence of Saint-Saëns and Franck would extend to several of Debussy’s contemporaries, as well. Some would rebel against concerto form – Gabriel Fauré with his episodic Ballade Op.19, Cécile Chaminade with her single-movement Concertstück Op.40 and Vincent D’Indy with his three-movement Symphony on a French Mountain Air –
while others would embrace it – the Concerto in C minor Op.12 of Gabriel Pierné emulating Saint-Saëns’s Second yet foreshadowing Rachmaninov, and the epic Concerto in F minor by Édouard Lalo harking back to Liszt.

Jules Massenet’s Concerto in E flat, begun in his early twenties, but only finished at the turn of the century after his many successful operas, arrived too late for the shifting tastes of the time, which had turned their back on romantic virtuosity in favour of the impressionistic and neo-classical. The group known as ‘Les Six’ (The Six) represented the next generation of French composers exploring these new directions in the wake of the First World War. Three of their number figure on this set: Francis Poulenc and the charm and wit of his Concertos for one and for two Pianos, Germaine Tailleferre and the impressionistic orientalism of her Ballade, and the prolific Darius Milhaud who contributes no less than five piano concertos and four other concertante pieces.

Their younger colleague Jean Françaix was among the many great names to have studied with seminal French composition teacher Nadia Boulanger. She is represented here by her forward-looking 1912 Fantaisie, while her student Françaix, like Poulenc, offers Concertos for one (1936) and for two (1965) pianos, the former dedicated to his teacher and the latter looking back to Poulenc. Albert Roussel and Reynaldo Hahn, though older than the members of ‘Les Six’, would only come to write piano concertos in their 50s, well into the inter-war period. Hahn’s concerto is featured here in a very special remastered historic recording from 1937, with the composer at the podium and the renowned Brazilian pianist Magda Tagliaferro as soloist.

Maurice Ravel likewise came late to the piano concerto, but then wrote two simultaneously, one for piano two hands and one for the left hand alone, on commissions from Serge Koussevitzky and Paul Wittgenstein, respectively. Both were given their premieres within a few weeks of each other in 1932.

As a worthy successor to the highly successful set of Russian Piano Concertos (BC95520) Brilliant Classics is happy to issue this set of French Piano Concertos on 12 CD’s.
Beginning with the (Early) Romantic concertos by Boieldieu and Alkan, and ending with concertos by Françaix and Milhaud they represent everything which is quintessentially French: a lightness of touch, charming, witty, sometimes tongue-in-cheek, colourful and bubbling with brilliant virtuosity.

Played by excellent pianists such as Magda Tagliaferro, Romain Descharmes, Gabriel Tacchino, Francois-Joël Thiollier, Michael Korstick, Florian Uhlig and Klára Würtz.
The booklet contains a newly written essay by David Moncur.

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