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LABELS: Cypres
WORKS: Musiques: chamber, vocal & instrumental works
PERFORMER: Danel Quartet; Anne-Catherine Gillet (soprano), Christine Solhosse (mezzo-soprano), Philippe Terseleer (piano), various instrumentalists
André Souris (1899-1970) was the leading musical light of the Belgian Surrealist movement between the wars, a collaborator of René Magritte and Paul Nougé. His music as selected for this cross-genre collection of chamber, instrumental and vocal works reveals a composer with a multitude of voices. There’s the merciless Surrealist, of course – Trois inventions for barrel organ, playing music rolls in every direction but the intended one, Tombeau de Socrate ripping off Satie, Quelques airs de Clarisse Juranville ridiculing French school grammars. Then there’s the neo-classicist taking on Stravinsky in the Choral, marche et galop, but also a serious attempt to rehabilitate the old in an example of the lute tablature transcriptions he made in his last decade, Concert flamand d’après des sources de la renaissance. Not represented here, but also indicative of his wide-ranging interests, was a steady stream of film scores and a dabbling with serialism (he gave Boulez his first break at a concert in Brussels). The performances of these pieces, many little more than miniatures, have enormous zest, the only quibble being the rather uningratiating tone of soprano Anne-Catherine Gillet. Matthew Rye