A0287-CD: Françaix, Damase and Poulenc: Trios for Wind and Piano

Françaix, Damase and Poulenc: Trios for Wind and Piano
Performed by The Lynn Trio - Margaret Lynn ~ Piano; Jane Finch ~ oboe; Martin Gatt ~ bassoon

CD CoverThree delightful French wind trios by Jean Françaix, Jean-Michel Damase and Francis Poulenc grace this debut album from the acclaimed Lynn Trio. The work by Damase was originally scored for oboe, horn and piano but was specially arranged for oboe, bassoon and piano for this compact disc with the composer’s personal blessing, and is a world première recording.

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Audio Samples & Track Listing

Track Listing
JEAN FRANÇAIX (1912 - 1997 )
Trio pour Hautbois, Basson et Piano   [16:47]
1 I  Adagio/Allegro moderato
2 II  Scherzo
3 III  Andante
4 IV Finale
Trio pour Hautbois, Cor et Piano   [17:25]
5 I  Allegro deciso
6 II  Andante
7 III  Presto scherzando
8 IV Molto moderato
FRANCIS POULENC   (1899 –1963)
Trio pour Piano, Hautbois et Basson   [13:19]
9 I  Presto
10 II  Andante
11 III  Rondo

Notes from CD book

Françaix, Damase and Poulenc:
Trios for Wind and Piano

French composers have always had a strong affinity for the timbre and tone colours of wind instruments, and the three composers featured on this CD – Françaix, Damase and Poulenc – are perhaps the most inventive and prolific of the French masters in writing wind chamber music.

Jean Françaix (1912-1997) exploited the characteristics of wind instruments to great effect in a substantial number of chamber works including two woodwind quintets, a woodwind quartet, a reed trio and various works for wind ensembles. His Trio for oboe, bassoon and piano was commissioned by the International Double Reed Society and first performed in Rotterdam in 1995. Françaix believed music should give listeners pleasure, and this trio, like his other compositions, is marked by a mixture of lightness, quirkiness and exuberance that is immediately appealing to performers and audiences alike. Apart from the nostalgic third movement which has long cantabile melodies for the oboe and bassoon, the other three movements are packed with rhythmic and textural detail and make virtuosic demands on all three instruments. The concluding bars of the work include a humorous quotation of God Save the Queen, possibly a reference to the composer's friendship with the British bassoonist William Waterhouse, the dedicatee of this work.

Given the eminently accessible nature of his compositions, it is surprising that there have not been more recordings of the music of Jean-Michel Damase (b.1928). He won the Grand Prix de Rome at the young age of 19, and has contributed much to the chamber music literature in a style that continues along the line of Fauré, Poulenc and Ravel. In 1990 Damase was commissioned by the horn player Martin Webster to write a trio for oboe, horn and piano, but the horn part works equally well on the bassoon and it is this version, with the composer's blessing, which appears in the present recording. The finely crafted music exudes charm and elegance throughout the four movements, albeit offering plenty of challenges for the performers.

Francis Poulenc (1899-1963) admitted that, even as a child, he had preferred the sound of wind instruments to strings, and of his dozen chamber works, ten involve wind instruments and were composed with relative ease, whereas the two string sonatas were more difficult to complete. The Trio for oboe, bassoon and piano, dating from 1926 and dedicated to Manuel de Falla, is one of Poulenc's most popular works. It is very much 'tongue in cheek' music from the start, with the rather austere opening of the first movement suddenly giving way to a vivacious Presto, which in turn is interrupted by a pungent, expressive slow section. The middle movement, described by Poulenc as “sweet and melancholic”, highlights the lyrical qualities of the oboe and bassoon and shows Poulenc at his best as a composer of exquisite melodies. The final Rondo returns to the playful, almost zany mood of the first movement.

©2008 Margaret Lynn


PHOTO: The Lynn TrioThe Lynn Trio's first collaboration was in 2000 when bassoonist Martin Gatt, oboist Jane Finch and pianist Margaret Lynn joined forces for a recording of music by Madeleine Dring. However, their musicmaking friendship actually stretches back many years before - Margaret Lynn has performed with Martin Gatt since 1984 in recitals, radio broadcasts and recordings, and both have been playing with Jane Finch for the last ten years in various chamber music groups.

Margaret Lynn's penchant for wind chamber music has led to performances with artists such as Peter Lloyd, John McCaw and the late Anthony Camden. She was Associate Dean of Music at the Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts for many years and currently serves there as Academic Consultant.

Jane Finch has worked as a freelance oboist with the BBC Philharmonic, the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra, the Bournemouth Sinfonietta, and the Northern Sinfonia. As a soloist and chamber musician she has performed extensively throughout the UK and has broadcast for BBC Radio.

Martin Gatt has been principal bassoonist with the London Philharmonic Orchestra, the English Chamber Orchestra, the Academy of St. Martin-in-the-Fields, the London Sinfonietta, and the London Symphony Orchestra, and has performed and recorded as soloist and chamber musician all over the world. He is a Fellow of the Guildhall School of Music and Drama and also of the Royal College of Music in London, where he is Professor of Bassoon.

MRC Classical is a small, independent record label dedicated to making fine classical recordings. We aim for a natural and detailed sound using carefully chosen equipment and minimal microphone placement. For further information regarding our recording facilities or releases please email us directly at: mrcclassical@talktalk.net

Balance Engineer: Dave Finch
Executive Producer: Jane Finch

Recorded in high resolution digital sound at Clifton College & Oatley House, Bristol, April and August 2007
This recording was monitored on B&W loudspeakers

Original artwork by Cheryl Lynn

Album & Artist Information

Instruments: Bassoon, oboe & Piano trio + flute
Genre: Classical
Format: Audio CD
Our Ref: A0287
Label: MRC Classical
Year: 2009
Origin: UK

Also by The Lynn Trio

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& Poulenc
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& Brahms