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French Music for Winds & 20th-Century Wind Quintets

Release Date: 02/11/2014 
Label:  Warner Classics   Catalog #: 2564634845   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Darius MilhaudClaude Paul TaffanelGyörgy LigetiSamuel Barber,   ... 
Performer:  Paul MeyerGilbert AudinFrancois Leleux
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Les Vents Français
Number of Discs: 2 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 1 Hours 58 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews

“***** If you buy just one wind-quintet recording in your life, buy this fabulous double album. Les Vents Français are so precise, yet full of fun, subtleties and flights of virtuosity as they tackle 19th- and 20th-century classics… Impertinent, insouciant, irresistible.” – The Times (London)

“***** The joyous exuberance of Jacques Ibert's Trois pièces brèves makes a delicious opening to this double CD, played by five top French woodwind players with charming Gallic insouciance. There's so much to enjoy here.” – The Observer (UK)

FRENCH MUSIC FOR WINDS—20TH-CENTURY WIND QUINTETS • Les Vents Français • WARNER 2564 63484-5 (2 CDs: 127:01) IBERT Trois Pièces brèves. RAVEL Le
Read more Tombeau de Couperin (arr. Jones). JOLIVET Sonatine for Oboe and Bassoon. MILHAUD La Cheminée du Roi René: Suite. TAFFANEL Wind Quintet. LIGETI Six Bagatelles. ZEMLINSKY Humoreske. BARBER Summer Music. VERESS Sonatina for Oboe, Clarinet and Bassoon. HINDEMITH Kleine Kammermusik, op. 24/2

"Les Vents Français are Emmanuel Pahud (flute), Paul Meyer (clarinet), François Leleux (oboe), Gilbert Audin (bassoon), and Radovan Vlatkovic (horn)—spot the odd man out. Their two-disc set (packaged in a slim double jewel case) is really two internally consistent programs; thus the double title. Each disc offers a highly varied sample of its subject matter, following both well-trodden and lesser-known paths. Jacques Ibert (1890–1962) was perhaps two years too old to be a member of Les Six—most of whom were born in 1892—or perhaps his music was too enjoyable, with nary a hidden agenda. His Three Pieces have all the wit and charm of Poulenc’s wind music. Mason Jones’s transcription of Le Tombeau de Couperin closely follows Ravel’s own orchestration; it is not quite as simple as just removing the strings, but not far from it. André Jolivet’s colorful 1965 Sonatine belies his reputation as an enfant terrible of an earlier era. Milhaud’s seven-movement Suite, drawn from his music for a film about the 15th century, is surprisingly warm and relaxed music from this sometimes acerbic composer. The 1876 work by Paul Taffanel doesn’t sound like a conventional wind quintet; rather, it limns three movements of a symphony (or perhaps a Brahms serenade). One waits for violins to run off with the melody or cellos to fill out the harmony. A lovely piece!

The second disc includes two of the three great wind quintets: the Ligeti and the Hindemith. It’s too bad Les Vents Français didn’t round out the trio with the 1922 Nielsen Quintet, for which there is plenty of room on the CD. Zemlinsky’s 1939 Humoreske (his final composition) is pure charm, and this gossamer performance is perfect. Barber’s popular Summer Music is equally well served. Just as this recital threatens to become bland, Sándor Veress—a pupil of Bartók and Kodály, a teacher of Ligeti—spices it up with his exotic Sonatina, which looks both forward and backward. So far, every aspect of every performance in this set has been ideal; Hindemith’s Quintet can benefit from greater rhythmic consistency, and it needs a good deal more oomph in the finale. Nevertheless, this wonderful set of wind quintets (and their ilk) earns an enthusiastic recommendation."

FANFARE: Henry Fogel

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Works on This Recording

La cheminée du roi René, Op. 205 by Darius Milhaud
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Les Vents Français
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1939; France 
Venue:  Bavaria Musikstudios, Munich 
Length: 11 Minutes 53 Secs. 
Quintet for Winds in G minor by Claude Paul Taffanel
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Les Vents Français
Period: Romantic 
Written: France 
Venue:  Bavaria Musikstudios, Munich 
Length: 23 Minutes 0 Secs. 
Bagatelles (6) for Wind Quintet by György Ligeti
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Les Vents Français
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1953; Hungary 
Venue:  Bavaria Musikstudios, Munich 
Length: 11 Minutes 44 Secs. 
Summer Music, Op. 31 by Samuel Barber
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Les Vents Français
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1956; USA 
Venue:  Bavaria Musikstudios, Munich 
Length: 11 Minutes 43 Secs. 
Sonatina, for oboe, clarinet & bassoon by Sándor Veress
Performer:  Paul Meyer (Clarinet), Gilbert Audin (Bassoon), Francois Leleux (Oboe)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Les Vents Français
Period: Contemporary 
Venue:  Bavaria Musikstudios, Munich 
Length: 9 Minutes 3 Secs. 
Kleine Kammermusik for Wind Quintet, Op. 24 no 2 by Paul Hindemith
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Les Vents Français
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1922; Germany 
Venue:  Bavaria Musikstudios, Munich 
Length: 12 Minutes 38 Secs. 
Le tombeau de Couperin by Maurice Ravel
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Les Vents Français
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1914-1917; orch. 191; France 
Venue:  Bavaria Musikstudios, Munich 
Length: 14 Minutes 12 Secs. 
Pièces brèves (3) for Wind Quintet by Jacques Ibert
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Les Vents Français
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1930; France 
Venue:  Bavaria Musikstudios, Munich 
Length: 6 Minutes 14 Secs. 
Sonatine for oboe & bassoon by André Jolivet
Performer:  Francois Leleux (Oboe), Gilbert Audin (Bassoon)
Period: Modern 
Written: 1963 
Venue:  Bavaria Musikstudios, Munich 
Length: 2 Minutes 7 Secs. 
Humoreske for Wind Quintet by Alexander von Zemlinsky
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Les Vents Français
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1939 
Venue:  Bavaria Musikstudios, Munich 
Length: 4 Minutes 22 Secs. 

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