Magazine article Gramophone

Massenet: 'Integrale Plano Music'

Magazine article Gramophone

Massenet: 'Integrale Plano Music'

Article excerpt

Massenet

'Integrale Plano Music'

Valse folle. Dix Pieces de genre, Op 10. Musique pour bercer les petits enfants. Toccata. Deux Impressions. Valse tres lente. Deux Pieces pour piano. Un Momento musicale. Improvisations. Devant la Madone. Aragonaise da 'Le Cid'. Meditation de 'Thais' Maurizio Zacearia pf Aevea (F) AE16003 (80' * DDD)

Think of Massenet and you think of Werther, Manon and the 'Meditation' from Thais --and not necessarily of piano music. But in addition to the operas, ballets, oratorios, symphonic works, incidental music for 14 plays and no fewer than 200 songs, his complete solo piano works comprise 12 titles composed between 1867 and 1907 (they break down into 29 separate short works) and fit conveniently on to one CD.

Another composer might have called them Characterstucke or Lyric Pieces, which they closely resemble in scale and content. Perhaps they might have become better known had they been marketed as such. They certainly deserve to be, with the exception, perhaps, of the seven Improvisations (1875).

Maurizio Zaccaria opens with Valse folle (1898), perhaps the least characteristic--and certainly least expected--piece from the pen of the always elegant and melodic Massenet. …

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