Magazine article Gramophone

Francaix: 'Tres Frangaix'

Magazine article Gramophone

Francaix: 'Tres Frangaix'

Article excerpt


'Tres Frangaix'

Variations sur un theme plaisant.

Quatuor. Sixtuor. Elegie. L'Fleure du Berger

Jeremy Polmear ob and friends

Oboe Classics [F] CC2029 (59' * DDD)

Jean Francix's chamber music, whose great charm is difficult to analyse, is delightfully French, with its wit, lightness of touch, quixotic changing of moods, and blending of colours. It is most sympathetically played here, helped by a believable balance, with each wind group felicitously blended. The concert opens with attractive, typically diverse Variations on a 'pleasing theme', introduced by Diana Ambache on the piano. It is taken up by a chirping first variation on the flutes, with a whiff of a tango, then in Var 2 is passed on to a languorous bassoon, and leads in Var 3 to a brief woodwind-and-piano scherzo, before the mellow piano returns and dominates tranquilly when joined by the oboe in Var 4. Var 5 continues the mood poignantly. Var 6 is Gershwinesque; then the music moves, in Var 7, via the whole ensemble, to a fetching waltz in Var 8 for piano and flutes, and on to the slightly grotesque hurdy-gurdy finale, all but dominated by contrabassoon. …

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