Jadin: Première fantaisie concertante; Nocturne No.1; Nocturne No 2; Nocturne No 3; Sonata No. 3 for piano (four hands); Fantaisie

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COMPOSERS: Jadin
LABELS: Arion
WORKS: Première fantaisie concertante; Nocturne No.1; Nocturne No 2; Nocturne No 3; Sonata No. 3 for piano (four hands); Fantaisie
PERFORMER: Jacques Vandeville (oboe), Jean-Michel Louchart, Christine Rouault (piano)
CATALOGUE NO: ARN 68533
‘Charming, graceful and elegant… alternately brilliant and virtuoso, moving and dramatic’ is the booklet’s verdict on the music of Louis-Emmanuel Jadin (1768-1853), elder brother of the better-known Hyacinthe. A String Quartet in F minor recorded a few years ago by the Mosaïques has a certain wistful – and distinctly Gallic – elegance. But unless I’ve lost the plot, the music on this new disc is almost unrelievedly vapid. Many of the movements are in effect pot-pourris of contemporary hit tunes, all except ‘Plaisir d’amour’ virtually forgotten today. There is some soulful proto-Romantic keyboard writing in the Andante of the Fantaisie concertante (shades here of Field and Hummel). But for the most part the music, with its endless sequences of predictable two- and four-bar phrases, never goes beyond mass-produced salon prettiness. Though comments on the performance are almost irrelevant, this first (and, I would guess, last) recording is very serviceable, with the oboe pitted against an attractively hazy, overtone-rich early 19th-century piano. Richard Wigmore

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