Collection: Festival of French Music

Our rating 
4.0 out of 5 star rating 4.0

COMPOSERS: Canteloube,Dondeyne,Francaix,Tomasi
LABELS: Discover International
WORKS: Cinq pièces en trio; Divertissement; Suite d’airs populaires; Concert champêtre; Rustiques; Entrata a scherzetto


The combination of oboe, clarinet and bassoon makes for a nicely balanced wind ensemble, and all the items featured here are appealing to the ear. All six composers communicate a distinctively Gallic flavour, both in musical style and in source material; yet, though both the performances and the recorded sound are admirably clear in focus, they do occasionally miss some of the music’s tenderness. Henri Tomasi’s entertaining Concert champêtre, for example, suffers in this regard.


The items which were inspired by original folksongs are particularly attractive, and anyone who enjoys Canteloube’s Songs of the Auvergne will surely find his three Rustiques a delight. Moreover, the pieces by the less well known composers, such as Dondeyne’s charming Suite d’airs populaires, yield little in comparison with those composed by more famous colleagues, even in the case of the marvellous Divertissement of Jean Françaix. The insert notes, though adequate, are clumsily translated and poorly proofed. Nevertheless, this disc can be warmly recommended to anyone wanting to enjoy the byways of the French repertoire. Terry Barfoot