Milhaud: Suite; Scaramouche; Violin Sonata No. 2

Milhaud: Suite; Scaramouche; Violin Sonata No. 2

by Jean-Marc Fessard
     
 

This is a nice little selection of the chamber music of Darius Milhaud featuring clarinet, violin, and piano in varying combinations, beginning with the brief "Suite" for all three instruments. There's a gentleness and wittiness in most of this music -- although Milhaud could also be dolorous, for example in the introduction of the "Suite"'s finale -- primarily… See more details below

Overview

This is a nice little selection of the chamber music of Darius Milhaud featuring clarinet, violin, and piano in varying combinations, beginning with the brief "Suite" for all three instruments. There's a gentleness and wittiness in most of this music -- although Milhaud could also be dolorous, for example in the introduction of the "Suite"'s finale -- primarily because he drew on themes from his stage music for the "Suite," "Scaramouche," and the "Cinéma fantaisie d'après Le bœuf sur le toit," not to mention the presence of his trademark infectious Brazilian rhythms. The "Violin Sonata No. 2" and the "Clarinet Sonatina" are slightly more serious in mood, and in the case of the "Sonatina," more harmonically adventurous. The three musicians here -- clarinetist Jean-Marc Fessard, violinist Frédéric Pélassy, and pianist Eliane Reyes -- work excellently together to bring the music to life. Their ensemble work in the "Suite" is sharply precise. Even in the "Sonata" and "Sonatina," there is a sense that it's not all just about the violin or clarinet. Pélassy and Fessard allow Reyes to bring out the piano part to show that the works are often more like true duets, for example in "Scaramouche"'s dizzying opening or the "Violin Sonata"'s Vif movement. The "Fantaisie" is a more of a duet almost by necessity because there's so much going on in it, but without a doubt it's the violin that gets the spotlight with some fancy effects (such as playing in two keys at once) and even a cadenza that's not in the original work. The three musicians also give detailed attention to coloring in a natural, instinctive-sounding way. The sound is good enough that you can occasionally hear Fessard's and Pélassy's breathing, but with the speakers at anything less than average volume, some of the shaping of phrases is missed and even quiet notes are lost at times. The "Suite," "Scaramouche," and the "Fantaisie" are obvious picks here, leaving no doubt as to why they are so popular, but the other selections are also deserving of a listen.

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Product Details

Release Date:
09/28/2010
Label:
Naxos
UPC:
0747313227877
catalogNumber:
8572278
Rank:
219672

Tracks

  1. Scaramouche (3), suite for 2 pianos, Op. 165b  - Darius Milhaud  - Eliane Reyes
  2. Sonata, for violin & piano No. 2, Op. 40  - Darius Milhaud  - Frédéric Pelassy  - Eliane Reyes
  3. Sonatina, for clarinet & piano, Op. 100  - Darius Milhaud  - Eliane Reyes  - Jean-Marc Fessard
  4. Le Printemps, for violin & piano, Op. 18  - Darius Milhaud  - Frédéric Pelassy  - Eliane Reyes  - Jean-Marc Fessard
  5. Suite, for violin, clarinet & piano, Op. 157b  - Darius Milhaud  - Frédéric Pelassy  - Eliane Reyes  - Jean-Marc Fessard
  6. Cinéma fantaisie d'aprés Le boeuf sur le toit , for violin & orchestra (or piano), Op. 58b  - Darius Milhaud  - Frédéric Pelassy  - Eliane Reyes

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