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COMPOSERS: Tailleferre/Snyder/Poulenc
LABELS: ƒlan
WORKS: Concerto grosso for two pianos, singers & saxophones; Double Concerto in D minor for Two Pianos
PERFORMER: Clinton-Narboni Duo (piano), vocal ensemble, XAS Ensemble, Orchestre du Conservatoire du Centre de Paris/ Bruno Poindefert
There are a number of composers who are better known for their friendship or rivalry with their more famous colleagues than for their music. Salieri’s name, for instance, will forever be uttered in the same breath as that of Mozart, while Frank Bridge is destined to be remembered more for being Britten’s teacher than for any of his own compositions. Similarly Germaine Tailleferre’s membership of Les Six is the only salient fact that most people could proffer about her. This is an injustice, for while the other two lesser-known members of Les Six, Durey and Auric, are genuinely minor composers, the neglect of Tailleferre in comparison to Poulenc, Milhaud and Honegger surely stems from the prejudice prevalent in the male-dominated musical world. Her music is certainly not lacking in inventiveness, as the Concerto grosso demonstrates. In addition to two pianos and orchestra, eight wordless singers and a saxophone quartet help to create a remarkable sound-world with an intensity which is both fruity and slightly neurotic. It is captured excellently on this disc, but the Poulenc Concerto sounds too fragmented, and Randall Snyder’s Double is neither offensive nor entirely bland but simply demonstrates the musical superiority of both Tailleferre and Poulenc. Christopher Dingle