Magazine article Gramophone

'Tableaux De Provence'

Magazine article Gramophone

'Tableaux De Provence'

Article excerpt

'Tableaux de Provence' Borne Fantaisie brillante sur des airs de Carmen Debussy Rhapsodie Decruck Sonata Maurice Tableaux de Provence Dominic Childs sax Simon Callaghan pf Resonus (F) RES10231 (55' * DDD)

The main connecting thread--one of several--linking the four works in this engaging French recital for alto saxophone is women. Two of the composers, Fernande Decruck (nee Breilh, 1896-1954) and Paule Maurice (1910-67), were women. Debussy's Rhapsodie, worked on sporadically between about 1901 and 1911 and only completed after his death by Roger-Ducasse in 1919, was commissioned by a 'tenacious' American lady saxophonist, Elise Hall, much to the composer's irritation, while Francois Borne's Fantaisie brillante was inspired by the fictional heroine of Bizet's last completed opera.

Debussy's Rhapsodie, given here in a recently revised version by saxophonist and composer Vincent David, is not among his most inspired pieces, perhaps because of its difficult, one might say halfhearted gestation. It is not his worst piece either, and Dominic Childs gives a most sensitive account of it with accompanist Simon Callaghan, bringing out the real Debussian textures and almost convincing that it is 100 per cent original. They are equally sympathetic to Decruck's lovely Sonata (1943, which also exists in a version for viola and piano), a beautifully lyrical work in four movements--or five, as the last is a fusion of nocturne and finale. …

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