CD: Houdy

Houdy by Isabelle Perrin

CD Cover Arabesque by Isabelle PerrinEtel, April 3 1997: If there is no language more universal than music, then there is also none with stronger regional identities. Since French music has been on the sidelines for the past several decades, I decided to write a French Concerto for harp and orchestra.  By "French", I mean in the French spirit, building on the work of the composers who came before me rather than on that of my contemporaries. A writing style without "principles" or systems to follow, not Dodecaphonic or Polytonality (it all ages so poorly!).  A simple orchestra: one flute, one oboe, a clarinet in A, a bassoon, and a string quintet. As I am hardly interested in analysis, I prefer to write my music rather than to explain it.  Similarly, I prefer a performer's imagination to his zealous precision; in short, I prefer musicians.  This is why I chose to write this concerto for Isabelle Perrin, soloist of the Orchestre National de France. Pierick Houdy

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Artist Profile and index of recordings and sheet music

Audio Samples & Track Listing


Quintette for Harp and string Quartet - Isabelle Perrin/Quatuor Parisii
1 Adagio
2 Largo
3 Vivo
4 Andante
Suite for violin and harp - Annick Roussin/Isabelle Perrin
5 Chaconne
6 Gavotte
7 Sarabande
8 Gigue a matelots
Sonata - Isabelle Perrin 
9 Allegro moderato
10 Lento
11 Vivo
Suite for flute and harp - Philippe Pierlot/ Isabelle Perrin
12 Larghetto 1.26
13 Andante 0.55
14 Largo 2.03
15 Allegretto 0.43
16 Andante 3.10
Concerto Francais for harp and orchestra - Isabelle Perrin/Orchestra de Bretagne-Pascal Rophe
17 Allegretto 3.37
18 Lento 6.49
19 Allegro 4.23
Total Time

CD Notes & Credits

Sleeve Notes

Works for Harp

Pierick Houdy was born on Jan 18th, 1929 in Rennes. His earliest compositions were published by Henry Lemoine in 1937. In 1939, entered the Conervatoire National Superieur de Musique in Paris where he studied with Darius Milhaud, Nadia Boulanger, Oliver Messiaen and Maurice Durufle. He won a First Prize in Composition, a Second Prix de Rome and the Grand Prix de la Ville de Paris.

In 1954, he married Ghislaine de Winter, First Prize for Harp in Pierre Jamet's class at the C.N.S.M. for whom he composed his Sonata for harp in that same year. Pierre Jamet,being interested in the style of writing, had the work included at Israel International Competition and the Geneva Competition, since which time it has been performed throughout the world.

The suite for flute and harp was written at the request of Christian Larde and Marie-Clair Jamet. It was first performed by Jean-Pierre Rampal and Odette le Dentu at the Sceaux Festival.

The Quintet, 1984: Victor Salvi expressed his admiration for my Sonata and asked me to write a piece for harp and quartet or string orchestra. The quintet was first performed in Venice by Patrizia Tassini, then at Radio France with the Parisi Quartet, and in Canada by Judy Loman and the Orford Quartet.

The suite for violin and harp, 1990 was commissioned by Didier and Magdeleine Budin for the Cassis International Chamber Music Competition. It was later included in the Israel International Competition.

The French Concerto for harp and orchestra was commissioned by Arcodam Bretagne. It was written for Isabelle Perrin, who premiered the work with the Orchestre de Bretagne and performes it throughout France with exceptional musical sensitivity and intelligence. This concerto is named the French for reasons which have absolutely nothing to do with Nationalism. In fact, with Paris having been relegated to the outskirts of the Vienna School, I wanted to reach to the comments of a conductor who bemoaned the death of French Music: a death in which he played no small part!

In 1913 Debussy wrote 'Beware of composition per-se, that painstaking labour where one ends up reducing the living beauty of sound to an operation wherby, with great difficulty, two plus two finally equals four... Music has long experienced that which mathematicans think of as "numerical delusions". Above all, we must protect ourselves from those systems which are but attrape-dilettentes.'

Even today, if one does not follow some twilight-time avant-garde, I am convinced that one can still write music.

Pierick Houdy, 2003.

Orchestre De Bretagne (Brittany Orchestra)

The Orchestre de Bretagne, youngest of France's symphony orchestras, was formed in 1989 at the initiative of the Brittany Regional Council, the Ministry of Culture and the City of Rennes, together with the support of the City of Brest and the four administrative departments of Brittany. Under the direction of its esteemed musical director, Stefan Sanderling, it gives approximately a hundred concerts each year in both France and abroad, where it acts as ambassador for Brittany.

The orchestra de Bretagne is regularly invited to appear at the foremost French Festivals (such as Rencontres Musicales d'Evian for Mstislav Rostopovitch's 70th birthday. Menuhin Foundation, Septembre Musical de I'Orne with Jean-Pierre Wallez, Strasbourg Festival, Folle Journee de Nantes, Saint-Cere Festival, Flaneries Musicales de Reims with Rostropovitch as soloist). It has performed at major concert venues including the Queen Elizabeth Hall, Lincoln Center, Salle Pleyel, Salle Gaveau, the USA and Switzerland.

Together with this busy concert schedule, the Orchestra de Bretagne maintains a dynamic approach to recording which through some 20 CD's has enabled it to promote French music, contemporary works, Breton composers (Ropartz, Le Flem, Ladmirault) , as well as the symphonic repertoire in general.

In terms of recordings, the orchestra has distinguished itself this season, particularly with the first volume of the complete works of Chopin's orchestral works performed by the promoter of young talent for 2003, Abdel Rahman el Bacha. Other releases include a jazz recording which features the orchestra's string section with Henri Texier's Quintet Azur, and a CD of contemporary trumpet concertos with Eric Aubier which was unanimously hailed by the critics.

The orchestra de Bretagne will be releasing five recordings during the 2003-2004 season, after which its musical director, Stefan Sandering, will bid faerwell to his audience. However, this final season promises to be an exciting one, with numerous renowned guest soloists, a special concert of Mozart's Requiem, and a tour of Germany in April and May, 2004- so much to look forward to!



Recording & mastering: Alban Moreau
Produced by: INTERGRAL Classic, 15 Passage des Abbesses, 75018 Paris

Pressing: DOCdata France
Cover artwork: Tableau de Georges - Eric Marchal
Graphics: Jean-Pierre Abita

Album Information

Instruments: Harp / Harp & strings / Flute & Harp / Harp & orchestra
Genre: Classical
Format: Audio CD
Our Ref: A0253
MCPS: INT 221.131
Label: INTERGRAL Classic
Year: 2003
Origin: EU