This is a beautifully conceived disc presenting three major 20th century French composers in the chamber repertoire, a scene in which the Francophiles are very strong. Indeed, the music can comfortably be listened to in accompaniment to a Proust novel such as the delightful 'Sodom and Gomorrah' but that is obviously an arbitrary choice! Seriously, this is music of the highest order all round with Pierné's miniaturist style overtly apparent in his effusive 'Sonata da camera' that has some very seductive pieces for the solo flute. Conchord's version is well nigh unsurpassable with the cello of Bridget MacRae particularly enticing. Next is Charles Loeffler, perhaps the least known composer on this disc but no less qualitative definitely. The two rhapsodies are enchanting works full of sensual, almost sinister music that explore the intimate range of the oboe as a solo instrument. Emily Pailthorpe is quite a persuasive advocate of this lovely music especially in 'La cornemuse'. The Five Songs are very much salon style pieces with the lush voice of dazely certainly very well suited to the music. Finally, Duruflé's exquisite 'Prélude, Recitatif et Variations' holds more secrets and virtuosity for Daniel Pailthorpe's flute solos. This is an enchanting collection of works that also demonstrates AS&V's penchant to hit the nail on the head in the chamber repertoire.
Copyright © 2002, Gerald Fenech