Jean Françaix


Born: May 23, 1912; Le Mans, France   Died: September 25, 1997; France  
Composer Jean Françaix wrote in an accessible, attractive style that often led listeners and commentators to ignore the depth and originality present in much of his music. His father was the director of the Le Mans Conservatory. His mother was a teacher and choir director on its staff. He began to study piano when he was four. Before he was ten he had music lessons from Isidor Philipp (piano) and Nadia Boulanger (harmony, counterpoint, Read more composition). He published a composition at the age of ten, Pour Jacqueline, a piano suite dedicated to his baby cousin.

In 1930 he won first prize in piano at the Paris Conservatory. Pierre Monteux premiered his Symphony in 1932. In the same year he wrote his Concertino for Piano & Orchestra. The premiere of the work in 1934 made Françaix's reputation. He quickly came into demand. Ballets Russes de Monte Carlo commissioned a ballet, Scuola di ballo (Dance School), choreographed by Léonide Massine, based on themes of Boccherini. Another ballet, Le Roi nu (The Naked King or The Emperor's New Clothes), was premiered by the Paris Opera in 1935. He wrote a piano concerto in 1936 and played it on his first American trip, in 1938. He toured often with cellist Maurice Gendron, the Trio Pasquier, and later, with his daughter Claude as a piano duo partner.

Françaix was also known for his orchestrations of works by Chopin, Schubert, Chabrier, and Mozart. Poulenc requested that Françaix orchestrate L'histoire de Babar for him. Françaix transcribed many of his own works for the Mainz Wind Ensemble.

The light, witty character of Françaix's music has caused some to dismiss it as frivolous. Others have decried the fact that his style remained static throughout his life. In reality, he had found all he needed and achieved his mature voice immediately. His orchestrations are always clear and sparkling, his forms precise and neo-Classical, his emotions reserved. Françaix had little use for the Romantic esthetic of the composer pouring his inner soul into the music. In this, he was primarily influenced by Ravel. However, he sometimes wrote works of great depth. His masterwork among this sort of composition is L'Apocalypse de St Jean, written in 1939, the year World War II began. The work is mystical, even ecstatic, with plain flowing melodies reminiscent of old chant. It was premiered in 1942 at the Conservatory, conducted by Charles Munch. It was played at a memorial concert for Françaix in Le Mans in 1999, its first French performance since 1951. Read less
The Art Of The Flute - Françaix, Saint-saëns, Poulenc, Etc
Release Date: 03/27/2007   Label: Naxos  
Catalog: 8570309   Number of Discs: 1
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Browse 101-125 of 186 Available Recordings
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  • 101.
    New Classics 4 Horns - Schubert, Dubois, Brahms, Et Al
    Label: Klavier Records   Catalog: 11111 Release Date: 06/18/2008   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johannes Brahms,  Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov,  Alfred Reed,  Franz Schubert  ... 
    Performer:  Tom Hadley,  Dwayne Dixon,  Andrew Lewinter,  Julie McAlister  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Florida Philharmonic Horn Quartet
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  • 102.
    Greatest Works - Horn - Haydn, Schumann, Brahms, Rossini, Etc / Damm, Haenchen, Staatskapelle Dresden, Et Al
    Label: Berlin Classics   Catalog: 1288 Release Date: 04/08/2008   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Camille Saint-Saëns,  Robert Schumann,  Carl Maria von Weber,  Franz Joseph Haydn  ... 
    Performer:  Peter Damm,  Johannes Friemel,  Dieter Pansa,  Klaus Pietzonka  ... 
    Conductor:  Siegfried Kurz,  Hartmut Haenchen,  Eduard Melkus
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Dresden Staatskapelle,  Berlin State Opera Chamber Players,  Cappella Sagittariana  ... 
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  • 103.
    Horn & Piano - Francaix, Poulenc, Dukas, Etc / Sage, Schneider
    Label: Cavi Music   Catalog: 8553011 Release Date: 03/11/2008   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Camille Saint-Saëns,  Francis Poulenc,  Paul Dukas,  Emmanuel Chabrier  ... 
    Performer:  Eric Le Sage,  Bruno Schneider
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  • 104.
    Works For Harp & Orchestra - Françaix, Et Al / Rogner, Et Al
    Label: Berlin Classics   Catalog: 1388 Release Date: 01/22/2008   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  George Frideric Handel,  Jean Françaix,  Carl Ditters von Dittersdorf
    Performer:  Jutta Zoff
    Conductor:  Heinz Rögner
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Dresden Staatskapelle
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  • 105.
    World Wind / Carroll University Wind And Percussion Institute
    Label: Mark Masters   Catalog: 7393 Release Date: 01/01/2008   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Anders Astrand,  Jean Françaix,  Vinicio Meza
    Conductor:  Lawrence Dale Harper
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Global Percussion Network,  Carroll University Wind Symphony,  Wisconsin Wind Orchestra  ... 
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  • 106.
    Le Film Français - Honegger, Françaix, Sauguet, Thiriet
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 64688 Release Date: 11/13/2007   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Jean Françaix,  Arthur Honegger,  Henri Sauguet,  Maurice Thiriet
    Conductor:  Georges Tzipine
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Colonne Concerts Orchestra,  Orchestre de la Société du Conservatoire Paris
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  • 107.
    Mozart, Debussy, Etc / Pierre Jamet, Et Al
    Label: Timpani   Catalog: 2122 Release Date: 10/30/2007   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Claude Debussy,  Maurice Ravel,  Gabriel Pierné  ... 
    Performer:  Gaston Crunelle,  Pierre Jamet,  Georges Blanpain,  Marcel Frecheville  ... 
    Conductor:  Gustav Cloëz,  Pierre Capdevielle
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Orchestra,  Maîtrise de la radiodiffusion Française
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  • 108.
    Opus Brasil Ensemble Interpreta Villa-lobos, Et Al
    Label: Lindoro   Catalog: 103 Release Date: 09/18/2007   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Heitor Villa-Lobos,  Jean Françaix,  André Mehmari
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Opus Brasil Ensemble
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  • 109.
    Castelnuovo-tedesco: Concerto No 2;  Khachaturian / Heifetz
    Label: Rca Victor Gold Seal   Catalog: 7872 Release Date: 07/18/2007   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Mario Castelnuovo-Tedesco,  Karen Khachaturian,  Howard Ferguson,  Jean Françaix
    Performer:  Jascha Heifetz,  Lillian Steuber,  Gregor Piatigorsky,  Joseph de Pasquale
    Conductor:  Alfred Wallenstein
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 110.
    Sabine Meyer & Eddie Daniels - Blues For Sabine
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 55253 Release Date: 07/09/2007   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Francis Poulenc,  Steve Gray,  Torrie Zito,  Christoph Cech  ... 
    Performer:  Sabine Meyer,  Wolfgang Meyer,  Eddie Daniels,  Reiner Wehle  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Trio di Clarone
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  • 111.
    Kazuhito & Naoko Yamashita- Guitar Duos
    Label: Rca Victor Red Seal   Catalog: 6777 Release Date: 06/11/2007   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov,  Claude Debussy,  Jean Françaix
    Performer:  Kazuhito Yamashita,  Naoko Yamashita
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  • 112.
    The Art Of The Flute - Françaix, Saint-saëns, Poulenc, Etc
    Label: Naxos   Catalog: 8570309 Release Date: 03/27/2007   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Friedrich Kuhlau,  Jean Françaix,  Camille Saint-Saëns  ... 
    Performer:  Madoka Inui,  Wolfgang Schulz,  Matthias Schulz,  Peter Schmidl
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  • 113.
    Musique De Chambre Française / Pascal Rogé, Cantin, Et Al
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 425861 Release Date: 03/19/2007   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Vincent D'Indy,  Darius Milhaud,  Francis Poulenc,  Jean Françaix  ... 
    Performer:  André Cazalet,  Pascal Rogé,  Michel Portal,  Amaury Wallez  ... 
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  • 114.
    Françaix: L'horloge De Flore, Etc / Lencsés, Et Al
    Label: Cpo   Catalog: 999779 Release Date: 11/21/2006   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Jean Françaix
    Performer:  Lajos Lencsés,  Claude Françaix,  György Lakatos
    Conductor:  Uri Segal
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Pforzheim Southwest German Chamber Orchestra,  Parisii String Quartet members,  Jean Françaix Trio  ... 
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  • 115.
    Jongen, Serly, Françaix / Thompson, Freeman, Cnso
    Label: Centaur Records   Catalog: 2788 Release Date: 10/31/2006   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Joseph Jongen,  Jean Françaix,  Tibor Serly
    Performer:  Marcus Thompson
    Conductor:  Paul Freeman
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Czech National Symphony Orchestra
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  • 116.
    Françaix: Trio À Cordes, Etc / Françaix, Bischoff Et Al
    Label: Ottavo   Catalog: 109347 Release Date: 10/24/2006   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Jean Françaix
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Viotta Ensemble
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  • 117.
    Chamber Works - Schubert, Brahms, Et Al / Peter Rösel, Et Al
    Label: Berlin Classics   Catalog: 2842 Release Date: 09/05/2006   Number of Discs: 8
    Composer:  Franz Schubert,  Johannes Brahms,  Robert Schumann,  Giuseppe Tartini  ... 
    Performer:  Karl Suske,  Rainer Hucke,  Peter Rösel,  Dietmar Hallmann  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Brahms Quartett,  Gewandhaus Quartet
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  • 118.
    French Choral Music / Spanjaard, Netherlands Chamber Choir
    Label: Globe   Catalog: 5215 Release Date: 05/09/2006   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Olivier Messiaen,  André Jolivet,  Claude Debussy,  Maurice Ravel  ... 
    Performer:  Robert Coupe,  Karin Van der Poel,  Barbara Borden,  Marcel Beekman
    Conductor:  Ed Spanjaard
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Netherlands Chamber Choir
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  • 119.
    Paris Mechanique / Riessler, Charial, Sabine Meyer Trio
    Label: Marsyas   Catalog: 1801 Release Date: 02/14/2006   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ennio Morricone,  Francis Poulenc,  Scott Joplin,  Leroy Anderson  ... 
    Performer:  Pierre Charial,  Michael Riessler
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Sabine Meyer Clarinet Trio
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  • 120.
    Dohnányi: Serenade Op 10;  Reger, Francaix / Trio Ligeti
    Label: Leman Classics   Catalog: 49 Release Date: 12/27/2005   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Jean Françaix,  Max Reger,  Ernö von Dohnányi
    Performer:  Diana Ligeti,  Igor Keller,  Silvia Simionescu
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Ligeti Trio
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  • 121.
    Echos Du 20th Siecle - Dupre, Martin, Etc / Athanasiades
    Label: Tudor Records   Catalog: 7130 Release Date: 11/08/2005   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Georges Athanasiadès,  Jean Françaix,  Frank Martin,  Paul Hindemith  ... 
    Performer:  Georges Athanasiadès
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  • 122.
    Music Of Tribute Vol 4 - Scarlatti / Viktoria Lakissova
    Label: Labor Records   Catalog: 7077 Release Date: 11/08/2005   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  György Kurtág,  Walter Steffens,  Domenico Scarlatti,  Leopold Godowsky  ... 
    Performer:  Viktoria Lakissova
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  • 123.
    Concertos Francais - Ibert, Jolivet, D'indy, Francaix, Et Al
    Label: Capriccio Records   Catalog: 71028 Release Date: 09/27/2005   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Camille Saint-Saëns,  André Jolivet,  Jean Françaix,  Jacques Ibert  ... 
    Performer:  Michael Erxleben,  Reinhold Friedrich,  Thomas Duis,  Hans Lemke  ... 
    Conductor:  Lutz Kohler,  Hans Zimmer,  Serge Baudo
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  New Berlin Chamber Orchestra,  Berlin Deutsches Symphony Orchestra,  Cologne Radio Orchestra  ... 
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  • 124.
    Flute Agréable - Bozza, Dutilleux, Et Al / Clayton, Song
    Label: Crystal   Catalog: 714 Release Date: 08/30/2005   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Eugène Bozza,  Pierre Sancan,  Jean Françaix,  Henri Dutilleux  ... 
    Performer:  Ju-Ying Song,  April Clayton,  Philip Lasser
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  • 125.
    Françaix, Ponce, Rodrigo: Guitar Concertos / Fisk, Et Al
    Label: Ess.a.y Recordings   Catalog: 1088 Release Date: 07/26/2005   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Jean Françaix,  Manuel Ponce,  Joaquin Rodrigo
    Performer:  Eliot Fisk
    Conductor:  Richard Kapp
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia Virtuosi
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