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There Are Things to be Said

Tailleferre Ensemble (Ulysses Arts)

Our rating 
3.0 out of 5 star rating 3.0

There Are Things to be Said
Tailleferre: Sonate champêtre plus works by Cecilia McDowall, Rhian Samuel, Ingrid Stölzel, Röntgen, M Hoffmann et al
Tailleferre Ensemble
Ulysses Arts UA220060   76:24 mins

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The Tailleferre Ensemble, a chamber collective of piano and woodwind players, was founded in 2019 with the express aim of promoting women in music. This enjoyable and thoughtfully-programmed album, the collective’s debut recording, presents a number of appealing lesser-known works.

The album opens with Sonate champêtre by their namesake. Born in 1892, Germaine Tailleferre grew up with the surname ‘Taillefesse’ but changed its spelling to spite her father as he refused to support her musical endeavours. Her colourful work for oboe, clarinet, bassoon and piano is full of jaunty melodies and rhythmic vim, and receives a warm (if a touch restrained) account. The title track, There are Things To Be Said (2009) by Ingrid Stölzel strikes a more reflective note. Exploring ideas of silence, stillness and non-verbal communication, this is a richly introspective work for flute, oboe and piano; the trio bring a notably rich tone quality and a fine sense of ensemble to the piece. Another highlight is Rhian Samuel’s playful Little Duos for oboe and cor anglais (2020) which evokes everything from bagpipes to clocks to pheasants in its three short movements.

Baroque composer Melchior Hoffmann’s Trio Sonata in C minor feels somewhat hesitant in performance here, but the ensemble’s interpretation of the Trio for Flute, Oboe and Bassoon (1917) by German-Dutch composer Julius Röntgen has a good deal more spirit and rounds off the programme with suitable flair.

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Kate Wakeling