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Emmanuel: Les 6 Sonatines / Laurent Wagschal [CD+DVD]

Emmanuel / Wagschal
Release Date: 11/13/2012 
Label:  Timpani   Catalog #: 1194   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Maurice Emmanuel
Performer:  Laurent Wagschal
Number of Discs: 2 
Recorded in: Stereo 
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Notes and Editorial Reviews



EMMANUEL The Six Sonatinas & Laurent Wagschal (pn) TIMPANI 1194 (58:04)


& Maurice Emmanuel: La Rumeur du monde (DVD: 50: 00)


How has it come to pass that such an interesting and original composer as Maurice Emmanuel (1862-1938) has been virtually forgotten? Could it be that he was too self-critical when he destroyed all but 30 Read more of the 73 works he composed between 1877 and the year of his death? Could it be his constant searching for new models on which to base his music—everything from French folk songs and ancient Greek dances to birdsongs and Gregorian chant inspired him in his constant experimentation—distanced it from the listeners of his age? The Sonatinas presented here not only span virtually his entire mature composing career—the first from 1893 to the sixth in 1925—but they also detail his various interests and show how each was filtered through a quite individual mind. What is so fascinating about them is that they are often difficult to date, so intriguing a concept was there behind each example and so mature a composer was he when he wrote the very first of them. Incredibly, though these works may be on the shorter side (ranging from about 8:30 to roughly 13:30) they are hardly “sonatinas” in that oft-used derogatory sense. They are genuinely fascinating and at their best moments mesmerizing. They are musically complex yet easy on the ears: perhaps the most difficult yet rewarding combination to which a composer can aspire.


The pianist Laurent Wagschal, known as a promoter of rare and neglected music, particularly French music, makes a very fine guide to these rather difficult works. Indeed the term sonatina does no justice to even the technical difficulties which the pianist must eventually overcome and master. His fingerwork throughout is pristine, the varying rhythms tightly controlled and his tonal shadings beautifully achieved—perhaps my only complaint being his rather heavy overall sound for the lightest of passages. The French school of pianism was always known for its fleetness, its grace, its utmost transparency of sound, which in these recordings I do miss every once in a while. But perhaps more importantly one hears the pianist’s obvious devotion to and love of this music: There can be nothing more important in a performance. The DVD included with the recording features a number of interviews with the composer’s family, friends, students, and other musicians. It also features performances of a number of works—some of the sonatina movements (even an orchestrated example!) and the Suite sur des airs populaires grecs —showing perfected performances and student master classes. As so much of music always seems to be how we think about it and perceive it, it is fascinating to experience the music from both perspectives. If you don’t know this music run out and grab it before it’s gone! Emmanuel’s music will be one of the most pleasant surprises of your year.


FANFARE: Scott Noriega
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Works on This Recording

1.
Sonatine for Piano no 1, Op. 4 "Bourguignonne" by Maurice Emmanuel
Performer:  Laurent Wagschal (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1893 
2.
Sonatine for Piano no 2, Op. 5 "Pastorale" by Maurice Emmanuel
Performer:  Laurent Wagschal (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1897 
3.
Sonatine for Piano no 3, Op. 19 by Maurice Emmanuel
Performer:  Laurent Wagschal (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1920 
4.
Sonatine for Piano no 4, Op. 20 "Sur des modes hindous" by Maurice Emmanuel
Performer:  Laurent Wagschal (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1920 
5.
Sonatine for Piano no 5, Op. 22 "Alla francese" by Maurice Emmanuel
Performer:  Laurent Wagschal (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1925 
6.
Sonatine for Piano no 6, Op. 23 by Maurice Emmanuel
Performer:  Laurent Wagschal (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1925 

Sound Samples

Piano Sonatine No. 1, Op. 4, "Bourguignonne": I. Allegro con spirito
Piano Sonatine No. 1, Op. 4, "Bourguignonne": II. Branle a la maniere de Bourgogne
Piano Sonatine No. 1, Op. 4, "Bourguignonne": III. Andante simplice
Piano Sonatine No. 1, Op. 4, "Bourguignonne": IV. Ronde a la maniere morvandelle
Piano Sonatine No. 2, Op. 5, "Pastorale": I. La Caille
Piano Sonatine No. 2, Op. 5, "Pastorale": II. Le Rossignol
Piano Sonatine No. 2, Op. 5, "Pastorale": III. Le Coucou
Piano Sonatine No. 3, Op. 19: I. Moderato
Piano Sonatine No. 3, Op. 19: II. Andante tranquillo
Piano Sonatine No. 3, Op. 19: III. Vivace
Piano Sonatine No. 4, Op. 20, "sur des modes hindous": I. Allegro
Piano Sonatine No. 4, Op. 20, "sur des modes hindous": II. Adagio
Piano Sonatine No. 4, Op. 20, "sur des modes hindous": III. Allegro deciso
Piano Sonatine No. 5, Op. 22, "alla francese": I. Ouverture
Piano Sonatine No. 5, Op. 22, "alla francese": II. Courante
Piano Sonatine No. 5, Op. 22, "alla francese": III. Sarabande
Piano Sonatine No. 5, Op. 22, "alla francese": IV. Gavotte
Piano Sonatine No. 5, Op. 22, "alla francese": V. Pavane et Gaillarde
Piano Sonatine No. 5, Op. 22, "alla francese": VI. Gigue
Piano Sonatine No. 6, Op. 23: I. Scherzando
Piano Sonatine No. 6, Op. 23: II. Adagio
Piano Sonatine No. 6, Op. 23: III. Presto con fuoco

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