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Jehan Alain: Oeuvres Pour Piano

Alain / Dube
Release Date: 03/13/2012 
Label:  Syrius   Catalog #: 141447   Spars Code: n/a 
Composer:  Jehan Alain
Performer:  Jean Dubé
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 1 Hours 14 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews



ALAIN Choral Dorien. Préludes Profane. Lord, Give Us Everlasting Peace. Étude de sonorité. Romance. Nocturne. Suite facile. Ecce ancilla Domini. Étude sur les doubles notes. Prelude. Lumière qui tombe d’un vasistas. Histoire d’un homme qui jouait. Il pleuvra toute la journée. Comme quoi les projets les plus belliqueux finissent souvent par un bâillement. Nocturne, Nuit du 4 Août Soir du 22 Août 31. Chanson triste. Petite Read more Rhapsodie. Étude sur un theme de 4 notes. Dans un rêve laissé par la ballade des pendus de Villon. Tarass Boulba, Encelade. Andante. Lettre à mon amie Lola Bluhm. Un Specimen d’harmonies consonants. Suite monodique Jean Dubé (pn) SYRIUS 141447 (74:11)


As Helga Schauerte, “Jehan Alain’s publisher, biographer, and interpreter” according to the liner notes, put it, it is often difficult to make a just appreciation of works that have been left by composers who died young. Since Alain was only 29 when he died during World War II, his music certainly qualifies. What I hear is a composer blending the Impressionist school of Debussy and Ravel with the more astringent harmonies of Stravinsky and Bartók and the lean, single-note style of Satie. Only six works were published during his lifetime, five of them for organ (including Litanies, which was a favorite repertoire piece for Virgil Fox) and the Monodic Suite for piano. The first three tracks here, the Chorale Dorien and the two Profane Preludes, are presented here for the first time in their piano versions, their previous incarnations being for the organ.


Considering the extremely turbulent times that Alain grew up in—he was seven when World War I ended, and lived through the economic hardships of interwar France as well as the almost incredible rise of the Nazis to power—I am consistently struck by the almost measured calm of Alain’s music. If I have any complaint, it is that much of the music has the same general mood as well as tempo: rather slow, sparse, and lonely. I do, however, particularly like the first half of Ecce ancilla Domini, which has a somewhat livelier tempo and cheerier feel to it than most of the works on this disc, and the “etude on double notes” is almost exciting. I also enjoy the exuberant moments in the finale of the Petite Rhapsodie and in the middle of some of the other pieces, but his tendency was often toward quietude.


Without my really knowing more than the Chorale Dorien from prior exposure, I can only say that pianist Jean Dubé is a fine stylist who tries not to impose his personality on the music. In a sense this is good, because it gives us a chance to judge Alain on his own merits. Since these are the only available recordings of most of these pieces, this disc is extremely valuable. In my view, Alain still needed to grow and change, but since he never got the opportunity to do so we must take his music as it stands—a very special and personal style, rather like hothouse flowers that never had the chance to grow or be crossbred with other flowers. This, then, is a very welcome disc.


FANFARE: Lynn René Bayley
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Works on This Recording

1.
Choral dorien, for organ, JA 67 (AWV 75) by Jehan Alain
Performer:  Jean Dubé (Piano)
Period: Modern 
Written: 1935; France 
Date of Recording: 06/2011 
Venue:  Studio Acoustique, Passavant 
Length: 3 Minutes 29 Secs. 
2.
Prélude profane No. 1, for organ or piano ("Wieder an"), JA 64 (AWV 57) by Jehan Alain
Performer:  Jean Dubé (Piano)
Period: Modern 
Written: 02/1933; France 
Date of Recording: 06/2011 
Venue:  Studio Acoustique, Passavant 
Length: 3 Minutes 39 Secs. 
3.
Deuxième Prélude profane, for organ or piano ("Und Jetzt"), JA 65 (AWV 58) by Jehan Alain
Performer:  Jean Dubé (Piano)
Period: Modern 
Written: 03/06/1933 
Date of Recording: 06/2011 
Venue:  Studio Acoustique, Passavant 
Length: 3 Minutes 0 Secs. 
4.
Choral, for organ (Suite for organ No. 3), JA 82 by Jehan Alain
Performer:  Jean Dubé (Piano)
Period: Modern 
Written: 1935 
Date of Recording: 06/2011 
Venue:  Studio Acoustique, Passavant 
Length: 2 Minutes 3 Secs. 
5.
Etude de sonorité sur une double pédale, for piano, JA 7 by Jehan Alain
Performer:  Jean Dubé (Piano)
Period: Modern 
Written: 10/1930 
Date of Recording: 06/2011 
Venue:  Studio Acoustique, Passavant 
Length: 2 Minutes 40 Secs. 
6.
Romance, for organ or piano (Trois minutes No. 2), JA 31 (AWV 34) by Jehan Alain
Performer:  Jean Dubé (Piano)
Period: Modern 
Written: 1932 
Date of Recording: 06/2011 
Venue:  Studio Acoustique, Passavant 
Length: 1 Minutes 8 Secs. 
7.
Nocturne, for piano, JA 76 (AWV 78) by Jehan Alain
Performer:  Jean Dubé (Piano)
Period: Modern 
Written: 1935 
Date of Recording: 06/2011 
Venue:  Studio Acoustique, Passavant 
Length: 3 Minutes 46 Secs. 
8.
Final pour une sonatine facile, for piano (Suite facile No. 1), JA 92 by Jehan Alain
Performer:  Jean Dubé (Piano)
Period: Modern 
Written: 1937 
Date of Recording: 06/2011 
Venue:  Studio Acoustique, Passavant 
Length: 1 Minutes 21 Secs. 
9.
Barcarolle, for piano (Suite facile No. 2), JA 93 by Jehan Alain
Performer:  Jean Dubé (Piano)
Period: Modern 
Written: 1937 
Date of Recording: 06/2011 
Venue:  Studio Acoustique, Passavant 
Length: 3 Minutes 5 Secs. 
10.
Ecce ancilla Domini, for piano, JA 4 (AWV 4) by Jehan Alain
Performer:  Jean Dubé (Piano)
Period: Modern 
Written: 08/1930 
Date of Recording: 06/2011 
Venue:  Studio Acoustique, Passavant 
Length: 3 Minutes 7 Secs. 
11.
Etude sur les double notes, for piano, JA 10 (AWV 15) by Jehan Alain
Performer:  Jean Dubé (Piano)
Period: Modern 
Written: 10/1930 
Date of Recording: 06/2011 
Venue:  Studio Acoustique, Passavant 
Length: 1 Minutes 49 Secs. 
12.
Prélude, for piano, JA 87 (AWV 88) by Jehan Alain
Performer:  Jean Dubé (Piano)
Period: Modern 
Written: 1935 
Date of Recording: 06/2011 
Venue:  Studio Acoustique, Passavant 
Length: 2 Minutes 56 Secs. 
13.
Lumière qui tombe d'un vasistas, for piano, JA 11 (AWV 20) by Jehan Alain
Performer:  Jean Dubé (Piano)
Period: Modern 
Written: 04/1931 
Date of Recording: 06/2011 
Venue:  Studio Acoustique, Passavant 
Length: 1 Minutes 15 Secs. 
14.
Histoire d'un homme qui jouait de la trompette dans le forêt vierge, for piano, JA 59 (AWV 69) by Jehan Alain
Performer:  Jean Dubé (Piano)
Period: Modern 
Written: 1932-1935 
Date of Recording: 06/2011 
Venue:  Studio Acoustique, Passavant 
Length: 1 Minutes 45 Secs. 
15.
Il pleuvra toute la journée, for piano, JA 41 (AWV 42) by Jehan Alain
Performer:  Jean Dubé (Piano)
Period: Modern 
Written: 1932-1935 
Date of Recording: 06/2011 
Venue:  Studio Acoustique, Passavant 
Length: 0 Minutes 54 Secs. 
16.
Comme quoi les projects les plus belliqueux finissent souvent par un baîlement ou une promenade en b by Jehan Alain
Performer:  Jean Dubé (Piano)
Period: Modern 
Written: 1932-1935 
Date of Recording: 06/2011 
Venue:  Studio Acoustique, Passavant 
Length: 1 Minutes 22 Secs. 
17.
Nocturne, soir du 22 août 31, for piano, JA 19 (AWV 24) by Jehan Alain
Performer:  Jean Dubé (Piano)
Period: Modern 
Written: 08/22/1931 
Date of Recording: 06/2011 
Venue:  Studio Acoustique, Passavant 
Length: 1 Minutes 17 Secs. 
18.
Chanson triste, for piano, JA 8 (AWV 7) by Jehan Alain
Performer:  Jean Dubé (Piano)
Period: Modern 
Written: 1929 
Date of Recording: 06/2011 
Venue:  Studio Acoustique, Passavant 
Length: 2 Minutes 29 Secs. 
19.
Petite rhapsodie, for piano, JA 12 (AWV 17) by Jehan Alain
Performer:  Jean Dubé (Piano)
Period: Modern 
Written: 02/1931 
Date of Recording: 06/2011 
Venue:  Studio Acoustique, Passavant 
Length: 2 Minutes 6 Secs. 
20.
Etude sur un thème de quatre notes, for piano, JA 3 (AWV 6) by Jehan Alain
Performer:  Jean Dubé (Piano)
Period: Modern 
Written: 11/1929 
Date of Recording: 06/2011 
Venue:  Studio Acoustique, Passavant 
Length: 3 Minutes 7 Secs. 
21.
Dans le rêve laissé par la Ballade des pendus de François Villon, for piano, JA 24 (AWV 27) by Jehan Alain
Performer:  Jean Dubé (Piano)
Period: Modern 
Written: 10/04/1931 
Date of Recording: 06/2011 
Venue:  Studio Acoustique, Passavant 
Length: 5 Minutes 57 Secs. 
22.
Tarass Boulba, for piano, JA 91 (AWV 90) by Jehan Alain
Performer:  Jean Dubé (Piano)
Period: Modern 
Written: 10/1936 
Date of Recording: 06/2011 
Venue:  Studio Acoustique, Passavant 
Length: 3 Minutes 4 Secs. 
23.
Andante, for piano, JA 81 (AWV 60) by Jehan Alain
Performer:  Jean Dubé (Piano)
Period: Modern 
Written: 01/1935 
Date of Recording: 06/2011 
Venue:  Studio Acoustique, Passavant 
Length: 6 Minutes 59 Secs. 
24.
Lettre à son amie Lola pour la consoler d'avoir attrapé le grippe, for piano, JA 129 by Jehan Alain
Performer:  Jean Dubé (Piano)
Period: Modern 
Written: 1930 
Date of Recording: 06/2011 
Venue:  Studio Acoustique, Passavant 
Length: 2 Minutes 22 Secs. 
25.
Work(s): Un spécimen d'harmnies consantes by Jehan Alain
Performer:  Jean Dubé (Piano)
Period: Modern 
Written: 1929-1940 
Date of Recording: 06/2011 
Venue:  Studio Acoustique, Passavant 
Length: 0 Minutes 47 Secs. 
26.
Suite Monodique, for piano, JA 80, 89, 116 (AWV 65) by Jehan Alain
Performer:  Jean Dubé (Piano)
Period: Modern 
Written: 1935 
Date of Recording: 06/2011 
Venue:  Studio Acoustique, Passavant 
Length: 8 Minutes 30 Secs. 

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