Fauré and His Circle

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4.0 out of 5 star rating 4.0

COMPOSERS: Boulanger,Casella,Durufle,Enesco,Faure,Koechlin,Ravel,Saint-Saens,Schmitt
LABELS: Deux-Elles
WORKS: Works for flute and piano by Fauré, Saint-Saëns, Koechlin, Schmitt, Ravel, Enesco, Casella, Boulanger & Durufl
CATALOGUE NO: DXL 1125

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Fauré and his circle combines the small body of Fauré’s music for flute and piano with a selection of pieces by his teacher Saint-Saëns and some of his many pupils – among whom Enesco stands out here as a respectful but imaginative imitator, and Casella as more of a rebel.

But judging from the very full booklet note (by the pianist Richard Shaw), the intention of the disc is equally to gather together works inspired or premiered by the celebrated flautist Paul Taffanel and his pupils. Only this plan explains the presence of the last and longest item, the masterly Prélude, Récitatif et Variations for flute, viola and piano by Duruflé, who was too young ever to be part of Fauré’s circle.

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This provides welcome variety of colour, though, as do two slight, subdued Nocturnes with horn by the ever-fascinating Koechlin.
Kathryn Thomas plays with impeccable technique and tuning, neat phrasing, and an attractive tone. Richard Shaw is a sympathetic accompanist, and Lawrence Power’s eloquent viola in the Duruflé is a real bonus. Anthony Burton