Jean Françaix

Biography

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
Browse 101-125 of 185 Available Recordings
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  • 101.
    Piano And Wind / Ashkenazy, Reykjavik Wind Quintet
    Label: Chandos   Catalog: 10420 Release Date: 06/26/2007   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Jean Françaix,  Camille Saint-Saëns,  Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov,  Francis Poulenc  ... 
    Performer:  Vovka Ashkenazy
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Reykjavík Wind Quintet
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  • 102.
    Kazuhito & Naoko Yamashita- Guitar Duos
    Label: Rca Victor Red Seal   Catalog: 6777 Release Date: 06/24/2007   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov,  Claude Debussy,  Jean Françaix
    Performer:  Kazuhito Yamashita,  Naoko Yamashita
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  • 103.
    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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  • 104.
    Schönberg, Françaix: Wind Quintets / Zemlinsky Quintet
    Label: Preiser Records   Catalog: 163 Release Date: 03/13/2007   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Arnold Schoenberg,  Jean Françaix
    Performer:  Andrea Krauk,  Kurt Franz Schmid,  Michel Gasciarrino,  Gottfried Pokorny  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Zemlinsky Wind Quintet
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  • 105.
    Musique De Chambre Française / Pascal Rogé, Cantin, Et Al
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 425861 Release Date: 02/14/2007   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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  • 106.
    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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  • 107.
    Proclamation
    Label: Brass Classics   Catalog: 13005 Release Date: 11/01/2006   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Robert Davies,  Cecilia McDowall,  Mark-Anthony Turnage,  Alan Hovhaness  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  International Celebrity Trumpet Ensemble
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  • 108.
    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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  • 109.
    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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  • 110.
    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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  • 111.
    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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  • 112.
    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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  • 113.
    Poulenc: Sextet, Trio; Francaix: Octet, Decet / Linos Ensemble
    Label: Capriccio Records   Catalog: 67191 Release Date: 01/01/2006   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Jean Françaix,  Francis Poulenc
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Linos Ensemble
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  • 114.
    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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  • 115.
    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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  • 116.
    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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  • 117.
    Joie De Vivre - Ravel, Ibert, Etc /  Archibald, Edwards
    Label: Brass Classics   Catalog: 3001 Release Date: 10/25/2005   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Pierre Gabaye,  André Jolivet,  Jean-Michel Damase,  Henri Tomasi  ... 
    Performer:  Juliet Edwards,  Paul Archibald
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  • 118.
    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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  • 119.
    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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  • 120.
    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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  • 121.
    Francais: Le Roi Nu, Etc / Fischer, Ulster Orchestra
    Label: Hyperion   Catalog: 67489 Release Date: 04/12/2005   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Jean Françaix
    Conductor:  Thierry Fischer
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Ulster Orchestra
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  • 122.
    Dialogues with Double Bass / Jeremy McCoy
    Label: Bridge   Catalog: 9163 Release Date: 02/22/2005   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Gioachino Rossini,  Reinhold Gliere,  Giovanni Bottesini,  Jean Françaix  ... 
    Performer:  Steven Doane,  Jeremy McCoy,  Ira Weller,  John Patitucci  ... 
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  • 123.
    French Music For Wind Quintet - Poulenc, Ibert, Et Al
    Label: Naxos   Catalog: 8557356 Release Date: 02/22/2005   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Jean Françaix,  Darius Milhaud,  Jacques Ibert,  Francis Poulenc
    Performer:  Anna Dina Schick,  Soren Elbo,  Henning Hansen,  Max Artved  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Danish National Radio Symphony Wind Quintet
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  • 124.
    Label: Antes Edition   Catalog: 319200 Release Date: 10/26/2004   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Arthur Honegger,  Thorvald Hansen,  Alexander Gedike,  George Gershwin  ... 
    Performer:  Manfred Bockschweiger,  Cornelia Jaronicki
    CD: $22.49
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  • 125.
    M. Haydn, L. Mozart, Et Al / Yun-sung Chang, Et Al
    Label: Camerata Records   Catalog: 28030 Release Date: 09/28/2004   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Jean Françaix,  Michael Haydn,  Leopold Mozart,  Reinhard Süss
    Performer:  Reinhard Wieser,  Otmar Gaiswinkler,  Walter Voglmayr,  Heinrich Bruckner  ... 
    Conductor:  Yun-Sung Chang
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Concert-Verein
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1 2 ... 4 5 6 7 8

Jean Françaix


MOST POPULAR WORKS
Françaix: Concertino for Piano and Orchestra - 1. Presto leggiero
Françaix: Concertino for Piano and Orchestra - 2. Lent
Françaix: Concertino for Piano and Orchestra - 3. Rondeau (Allegretto)
I. Allegro
II. Scherzando
III. Andantino
IV. Allegrissimo
Divertissement for Bassoon & String Quintet (1998 Remastered Version): I. Vivace
Divertissement for Bassoon & String Quintet (1998 Remastered Version): II. Lento
Divertissement for Bassoon & String Quintet (1998 Remastered Version): III. Vivo assai
Divertissement for Bassoon & String Quintet (1998 Remastered Version): IV. Allegro
I. Prelude
II. Allegetto assai
III. Elegie
IV. Scherzo
I. Les Vieux Beaux
II. Pin-up Girls
III. Les Petits Nerveux
3h - Galant de jour
5h - Cupidone bleue
10h - Cierge a grandes fleurs
12h - Nycanthe du Malabar
17h - Belle de nuit
19h - Geranium triste
21h - Silene noctiflore
Petit Quatour pour Saxophones (1935): First movement: Gaguenardise
Petit Quatour pour Saxophones (1935): Second movement: Cantilène
Petit Quatour pour Saxophones (1935): Third movement: Sérénade comique
I. Allegro
II. Andante
III. Allegro molto
IV. Allegro vivo
I. Andante tranquillo
II. Presto
III. Tema e variazione
IV. Tempo di marcia francese
I. Prelude - Allegretto
II. Sarabande
III. Gigue
I. Caprice: Allegro
II. Pavane
III. Saltarelle
IV. Allemande: Moderato
V. Menuet
VI. Marche
I. Tema
II. Larghetto misterioso
III. Presto
IV. Moderato
V. Adagio
VI. Tempo di valza
VII. Cadenza
VIII. Prestissimo
WORKS
Françaix: Concertino for Piano and Orchestra - 1. Presto leggiero
Françaix: Concertino for Piano and Orchestra - 2. Lent
Françaix: Concertino for Piano and Orchestra - 3. Rondeau (Allegretto)
I. Allegro
II. Scherzando
III. Andantino
IV. Allegrissimo
I. Toccata I
II. Toccata II
III. Andantino
IV. Menuet
V. Finale
Françaix: Concertino for Piano and Orchestra - 1. Presto leggiero
Françaix: Concertino for Piano and Orchestra - 2a. Lent
Françaix: Concertino for Piano and Orchestra - 2b. Allegretto/Trio
Françaix: Concertino for Piano and Orchestra - 3. Rondeau (Allegretto)
I. Pambiche
II. Baiao
III. Mambo
IV. Samba lenta
V. Merengue
Divertissement for Bassoon & String Quintet (1998 Remastered Version): I. Vivace
Divertissement for Bassoon & String Quintet (1998 Remastered Version): II. Lento
Divertissement for Bassoon & String Quintet (1998 Remastered Version): III. Vivo assai
Divertissement for Bassoon & String Quintet (1998 Remastered Version): IV. Allegro
I. Prelude
II. Allegetto assai
III. Elegie
IV. Scherzo
I. Les Vieux Beaux
II. Pin-up Girls
III. Les Petits Nerveux
3h - Galant de jour
5h - Cupidone bleue
10h - Cierge a grandes fleurs
12h - Nycanthe du Malabar
17h - Belle de nuit
19h - Geranium triste
21h - Silene noctiflore
I. Allegrissimo
II. Presto
III. Larghetto
IV. Scherzando
V. Larghetto
VI. Allegro
Petit Quatour pour Saxophones (1935): First movement: Gaguenardise
Petit Quatour pour Saxophones (1935): Second movement: Cantilène
Petit Quatour pour Saxophones (1935): Third movement: Sérénade comique
I. Allegro
II. Andante
III. Allegro molto
IV. Allegro vivo
I. Andante tranquillo
II. Presto
III. Tema e variazione
IV. Tempo di marcia francese
I. Preludio
II. Toccata allegro
III. Scherzando
IV. Andante
V. Allegrissimo
I. Prelude: Allegrissimo
II. Elegie: Andantino con moto
III. Scherzo: Vivace -
IV. Toccata: Allegretto
I. Prelude - Allegretto
II. Sarabande
III. Gigue
I. Caprice: Allegro
II. Pavane
III. Saltarelle
IV. Allemande: Moderato
V. Menuet
VI. Marche
I. Andantino misterioso ? Allegro assai
II. Andante molto
III. Scherzo and Trio
IV. Allegretto assai
I. Tema
II. Larghetto misterioso
III. Presto
IV. Moderato
V. Adagio
VI. Tempo di valza
VII. Cadenza
VIII. Prestissimo