Jean-Pierre Ferey (who also wrote the notes: French
and English) continues the fine work for Cras which he began with earlier
releases on the Skarbo label. He is alive to nuance, inclined to brilliance
when it is called for and open to grandeur. Taking but one example,
listen to him in the second of the two masterly Paysages (i.e
Landscapes). In the first he brings out the wave-pattern and
swell of the sea on which, as a senior naval officer, Cras made his
The Four Dances: Morbida is as
marked: fluid and languid and extremely personal in a way never fully
achieved in the Intimate Poems (on the other Skarbo disc). It
too ascends to the heights of grandeur at 4.23. Scherzosa is
marked 'pleasant and lively' and it is all of this: scintillating, cascading
and here in the secure hands of a virtuoso. Tenera (tender and
loving) is presented with faltering but confident sensitivity. The Animata
sings with the sea-swell rather like a more frankly melodic and
direct Gallic Medtner or an updated French version of Granados in Goyescas.
The 'gear change' at 6.15 is desperately impressive. The Four Dances
play for circa 35 minutes and, as the notes speculate, played as a sequence,
they could just as easily have been designated a sonata - a sonata swept
by an ecstatic singing.
The Two Impromptus: Lent and Animé.
These were originally written for harp and are played attacca
without a break. Lent swings lazily at the moorings floating
amid the oily surface. It rises in rapt tunefulness resolving directly
into an Animé that is as bustling and celebratory as the
Easter Fair in Petrushka.