CD A0052: Couleurs

Claude Régimbald (flute) & Nathalie Chatelain (harp)

CD CoverWith a repertoire from baroque to contemporary the duo, who have been performing together since 1995, present here a recital recording of works covering the time of Bach (1685-1750) to Bernard Andres (b. 1941).

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Track Listing & Audio Samples

Johann Sebastian BACH (1685-1750)
Sonate en sol mineur BMV 1020
Gioacchino ROSSINI (1792-1868)
Andante con variazioni
Camille SAINT-SAENS (1835-1921)
Romance en rébmajeur op 37
Joseph LAUBER (1864-1952)
Quatre Dances Médiévales opus 45
Jean FRANCAIX (1912-1997)
Cinque piccoli duetti
Vincent PERSICHETTI (1915-1987)
Sérénade no 10 opus 79
Allegro comodo
Andante grazioso
Andante cantabile
Bernard ANDRES (b. 1941)
Franz DOPPLER (1821-1883) and Antonio ZAMARA (1829-1901)
Casilda Fantaisie
Total Time

CD Notes & Credits

The origin of the flute and the harp is lost in the annals of time. Their combination has produced many musical pages ever since Mozart consecrated this duo in his famous concerto. The recital presented here covers more than two centuries of music, primarily original works, and, to a great extent, musical works of our time.

Musicologists are not in agreement upon whether the Sonata in G minor BWV 1020 for flute and harpsichord was actually composed by the great Johann Sebastian Bach, or by one of his sons, 6r even by one of his pupils. Nevertheless, the contrapuntal style of the Leipzig cantor is evident and if Bach did not compose it in its whole, he certainly corrected or revised most of it. This sonata has the three-movement form of the Italian concerto, created by Tartini and further developed by Vivaldi: the opening allegro, noble and resolute, in which the solos of the harp, which substitutes the harpsichord, serve as a ripieno; the adagio in E flat major as the harp supports the flute, floating over long held notes; the final allegro in binary form, a vivace dance-like movement.

At the age of 37, Gioacchino Rossini gave up composing for the theatre. Rich and famous, he settled down in Paris and attended the salons of the Restauration aristocracy. He composed some of the péchés de vieillesse that are musical or gastronomic works! The Andante with variations on the aria Di tanti palpiti from his opera Tancredi dates from this period. This short page maximises both the technical and expressive possibilities of the two instruments.

Camille Saint-Saëns is known nowadays mainly for his famous Carnaval des Animaux. It is less known that he had been a child prodigy. He started to study piano when he was 7 years old, gave his first concert when he was 9 and composed his first symphony at the age of 16. He was an accomplished harmony teacher and had an incredible facility in the development of his themes. A prolific composer, he produced chamber music, arias, concertos, symphonies, sacred music and several operas, among which is his masterpiece Samson et Dalila. In 1874 he composed this romance opus 37 in P flat major for flute and orchestra for his friend, the great flutist Paul Taffanel. The version for flute and harp confers on the work an intimacy, which suits the sensuality of its content.

Joseph Lauber, a Swiss composer, was born in 1864 on Christmas day, at Ruswill in the canton of Lucerne and died in Geneva, in 1952. A pupil of Jules Massenet and teacher of Frank Martin, he taught orchestration and piano at the Geneva Conservatoire. He was also a conductor of the Grand Theatre orchestra. He composed around two hundred works, which, unfortunately, are seldom performed: melodies, chamber music, vocal music, 4 concertos, 3 symphonies and an opera, Die Hexe (the witch). His Quatre Danses Médiévales, published in 1928 and dedicated to Paul Hagemann, are inspired by 16th century musical forms, but aesthetically resemble more the impressionists. Note the tuning of the harp chord in the Masquerade, which uses the tone scale Debussy liked so much. The Rigadoon is a fast dance of Provencal origin, binary time and in ternary form. It was used in France till the 18th century and can be found in Rameaus operas. In more recent times, Maurice Ravel included a rigadoon in his Tombeau de Couperin. The Masquerade is a divertimento of Italian origin, fashionable in the 16th century royal courts. It consisted of allegorical or mythological entries with music, dance and characters wearing masks. This was the beginning of the court ballet. The Pavane comes from Northern Italy and was danced with a forward and backward movement. It soon spread all over Europe. More recently, Fauré and Ravel composed pavanes of a serious style. The Galliard is an exuberant and cheerful social dance, which is performed by couples. Its vigorous and bold choreography has a great variety of steps. It is said that Queen Elizabeth I of England danced it every morning to warm up her muscles!

Jean Françaix was born in a family of musicians. He was very soon noticed by Maurice Ravel and became Nadia Boulanger’s pupil at the age of 10 years. A brilliant pianist, he composed over two hundred works: operas, ballets for Roland Petit, film music for Sacha Guitry, sacred, symphonic and chamber music as well as concertos. His is certainly not the hermetic and intellectual style. Jean Françaix considered his work as “desperately tonal” as his main objective was to “entertain” people. These five short duos were composed in 1975 for Christian Lardé and Marie-Claire Jamet, partners both on the stage and off. They alternate virtuoso and light-hearted pages with melodic ones, the natural elegance of which is typically French.

Vincent Persichetti, an American composer, was appointed teacher at the famous Julliard School in New York at the age of 32. His work is rich and eclectic. He wanted to integrate into his musical language new composing techniques, such as polytonality, while maintaining its fluidity. The serenade was originally music performed at night under somebody’s windows to pay them homage. In the 18th century, it became an instrumental composition with a characteristic style, consisting of up to ten movements. Mozart, Haydn, Schubert and Beethoven all composed serenades. Persichetti composed 13 of them, the 10th of which is for flute and harp. It is made up of eight short movements, alternating the lyric, humoristic, naive, mysterious and virtuoso.

Bernard Andrès, a French harpist and composer, was born in 1941. He composed Narthex in 1971. Dedicated to his wife, this piece illustrates various scenes decorating the vestibule of a Bourguignon church: “Lute Players”, “Flight to Egypt”, “Avarice Dance”, “Devils Dance”, “Avarice Death”, “Magi Sleep”, “Cithara Player”, “Cain and Abel”, “Dance of the Damned” and “Devils Flight”. Although written in a traditional manner, Narthex presents various contemporary effects: Aeolian sounds, key percussion and glissandi on the flute; pedal noises and percussion on the harp’s sounding board as well as the use of various accessories with the harp.

Franz Doppler was considered the greatest Hungarian flutist of his time. With his younger brother Karl a flutist as well, he toured all over Europe and obtained brilliant success everywhere. He was a prolific composer: overtures, operas, and ballets. He was appointed first flutist at the Vienna Court Opera and teacher at the Conservatoire.

Antonio Zamara was born in Milan in 1829. He was for fifty years the solo harpist at the Vienna Court Opera and teacher at the Conservatoire. He wrote a harp method and many pieces for his instrument. We know very little of the opera Casilda, composed by His Highness Ernest II, duke of Saxony-Cobourg & Gotha. It was first performed in 1851 and made considerable success in Vienna, Berlin and London. It was even translated into French and performed at the Brussels Théâtre Royal in 1855. But we can easily imagine that both Doppler and Zamara were playing in the orchestra during the Vienna performances of Casilda, and that they decided to compose a joint fantasy. It was actually quite common in the 19th century to compose fantasies from the operas in fashion. There is a great quantity of these salon pieces that the high society of that time was very fond of. The present fantasy consists of an introduction, a bolero, and a charming andantino and, of course, a brilliant finale.


Enregistrement réalisé en Octobre 2001
à l'Ecole de Musique de Gex (France)
Ingenieur du son / Sound engineer: Jean-Daniel NOIR, Nyon
Graphime / Design: Blaise-Alain Cart, Genève
Commentaires / Commentary: Claude Régimbald
Traductions/ Translations: Michèle Collomb Lamagni, Rome
© Bac Art 2002 / Fabrique et imprime en Suisse

Album Information

Title:     Couleurs
Artists: Claude Régimbald & Nathalie Chatelain
Instruments:     Flute & Harp
Genre: Classical
Format: CD
Our Ref: A0052
MCPS: CNFH-100101
Label: Bac Art
Year: 2001
Origin: Switzerland

Artist Information & Contact Details

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