Notes and Editorial Reviews
Trio de Salon.
Lencsés (ob); Andrey Boreyko, cond;
Ulrike Sonntag (sop);
Libor Sima (bn);
Angsor Schneider (vc);
François Killian (pn);
Southwest German RSO Stuttgart
HÄNSSLER 98295 (60:04)
Chances are that, unless you’re an oboist, the name Marie Félicie Clémence de Grandval, née de Reiset (1828–1907), probably won’t ring a bell. With the exception of one or two concert works for oboe included in anthologies, the bulk of her considerable
has languished in obscurity. Born into wealth, Grandval early evidenced musical gifts and was taught by Flotow and Saint-Saëns. Many of her ambitious works were performed and published in Paris. No less an authority than François-Joseph Fétis praised her cultivation of various musical genres, noting that Grandval “gives proof in each that if she is not a genius, she is at least genuinely talented.” While it’s unlikely that encountering Grandval’s music will provoke an epiphany similar to the discovery of Fannie Mendelssohn, for instance, her charm, vitality, and variety nonetheless provide an interesting and pleasant surprise. For this we have to thank the brilliant Hungarian-born oboe virtuoso, Lajos Lencsés, whose explorations off the beaten path have produced recordings of Salieri (Capriccio 10530), Vivaldi, J. C. Bach, Cimarosa, and Bellini (Carus 83114), Dittersdorf (Hungaroton 32062), and Hungarian rarities (Bayer 100340). Here Lencsés collaborates with a number of colleagues to mark the centennial of Grandval’s death in this new Hänssler release of eight of her pieces.
Grandval maintained cordial friendships with a number of prominent Parisian musicians, including the oboist Georges Gillet, for whom she wrote a concerto. Knowing that the work once had wide currency as an examination piece at the Paris Conservatoire, Lencsés scoured collections in France and the U.S. in search of the original orchestral score. When these efforts proved fruitless, he orchestrated the version recorded here, based on the extant piano score. In this concerto and in each of the smaller pieces that round out the disc, Grandval’s adept and resourceful writing for the oboe is everywhere apparent. If her music could not be described as trenchant or profound, it is certainly original, always charming and inventive, and inevitably several cuts above mere salon music. The two pieces employing cello obbligato with the solo oboe and string orchestra, a romance and a gavotte, are captivating. And wind-players, ever hungry for new repertoire, will rejoice in the discovery of the trio for oboe, bassoon, and piano, with its deft ensemble writing and piquant tone.
Lencsés has an exquisitely sensuous, characteristically Central-European sound, always informed by a keen and subtle musical intelligence. His rediscovery of this skilled, unpretentious, and forthright composer is most welcome. Warmly recommended to wind-players and aficionados, lovers of chamber music, and to anyone interested in that rich and variegated tapestry which is late-19th-century French music.
FANFARE: Patrick Rucker
Works on This Recording
Concerto for Oboe by Clémence de Grandval
Lajos Lencsés (Oboe)
Stuttgart Radio Symphony Orchestra
Lamento by Clémence de Grandval
Lajos Lencsés (Oboe)
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