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Every day we post 10 new Classical CD and DVD reviews. A free weekly summary is available by e-mail. MusicWeb is not a subscription site. To keep it free please purchase discs through our links.

  Classical Editor Rob Barnett    


Guy SACRE (b. 1948)
Deuxième Sérénade (1982) [14.30]
Variations sur une mazurka de Chopin (1989) [9.20]
Chansons Enfantines (1978) [12.25]
Piccolissima-Sérénade (1979) [12.14]
Vingt-quatres Préludes (1980-83) [22.57]
Billy Eidi (piano)
rec Théâtre de Poissy, Sept 1994
TIMPANI 1C1026 [71.21]
CD available for post-free online mail-order or you may download individual tracks. For some labels you can download the entire CD with a single click and make HUGE savings. The price you see is the price you pay! The full booklet notes are available on-line.

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I know nothing of Sacre and unfortunately, on this occasion, the booklet note does not help very much either. We know that Sacre had written more than twenty suites and collections for solo piano by 1995. We also know, because of what we hear on this disc and what we are told in the notes by Robert Bared, that Sacre is a tonalist without too idealist or exclusive an approach. There are peppery dissonances and some of this music could not have been written without the all pervasive example of Stravinsky in the background. Other influences can also be sensed. Amongst these are the Gurdjieff and de Hartmann oriental strain - listen to Gondolière and Autre Chanson (tr 2 and 6).

The Chopin Variations (on the A minor Mazurka from Op. 59) are pleasingly decorated like a blend of Godowsky and earlyish Sorabji. This work is lush and luxuriantly overgrown. The Chansons enfantines are in eight movements each as subtle as any of the other forty-nine tracks on this disc. These are songs for adults to recapture childhood and not for playing by children. Both Sérénades are in seven movements. The Piccolissima is more introspective than the Deuxième. As so often with Sacre the music is like Ravel's Ma Mère l'Oie but as if reinterpreted by Stravinsky or John Foulds. The Twenty-Four Preludes are variously grave, skipping, uncertainly mournful, gamelan-delicate, abundantly florid, lissomly introspective, galloping, lunar and distant and hinting at Dies Irae (tr 39). The final Très lent is surely a homage to the Berg violin concerto.

Fascinating and at times magical but not to be taken in a single listening. Lovely playing by Billy Eidi.

Rob Barnett

Fascinating and at times magical but not to be taken in a single listening gulp. Lovely playing by Billy Eidi. ... see Full Review



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