ALBUM TITLE: The French Connection
WORKS: Sonata, op. 47; Sonatine
PERFORMER: Emmanuel Pahud, Paul Meyer, Francois Meyer, Eric le Sage
CATALOGUE NO: 557 9482
Emmanuel Pahud has a knack for constructing marvellous programmes and this delightful disc is no exception. The composers here are, for the most part, familiar enough, but the repertoire is seldom heard. The vintage port of Paul Meyer’s clarinet is the constant companion to the sparkling lead crystal of Pahud’s flute. The pair excel in Jolivet’s gritty Sonatine, having shared the limelight with oboist François Meyer and pianist Eric le Sage in Milhaud’s Sonata, Op. 47. Alongside these works at the heart of the disc are the rare gem of Maurice Emmanuel’s Sonata and the Schmitt’s marginally better-known Sonatine en trio.
Francophiles will be thrilled to have this repertoire in such finely judged performances, even if the recording is occasionally a touch oppressive. That two Shostakovich waltzes frame a disc entitled The French Connection might raise eyebrows, but such quibbles are irrelevant when faced with such charming music. Christopher Dingle