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Petite Suite Maritime
Maurice DELA (1919-1978)
Petite Suite Maritime (1946) [11:15]
James Macdonald GAYFER (1916-1997)
Suite for Woodwind Quintet (1947) [12:57]
Walter BUCZYNSKI (b.1933)
Suite for Woodwind Quintet op. 13 (1955) [10:48]
Jean PAPINEAU-COUTURE (1916-2000)
Fantaisie pour quintette à vent (1963) [12:31]
Jacques HÉTU (b.1938)
Quatre Miniatures pour trio d'anches (1967) [6:36]
Quintette pour instruments à vent op. 13 (1967) [11:38]
Quintette à vent Estria (Kate Herzberg (flute); Étienne de Médicis (oboe); Pauline Farrugia (clarinet); Michel Bettez (bassoon); Nadia Labelle (French Horn))
rec. Salle Bandeen, Université Bishop, Sherbrook, Québec, 3-5 February 2007. DDD
ATMA CLASSIQUE ACD 2 2391 [65:45]
Experience Classicsonline




This is the Estria Quintet's follow-up to Atma ACD2 2357 and cuts a cross-section through Canadian classical output during the period 1946-67. As you may have guessed the styles encompassed are diverse.

Dela was a pupil of Claude Champagne and spent much of his career as composer-arranger for CBC. His Suite is tuneful and full of a warm character swaying between Ibert and Poulenc at their most sunnily Mediterranean. The rocking motion of the second movement, The Skiff, is memorably attractive. The Gayfer Suite is in five witty, life-enhancing, folksy, sap-oozing and boozily cheering movements. There’s a touch of a Malcolm Arnold in this music and that final movement ought to command real popularity for this work and its composers.

After warmth and wit from the 1940s comes Buczysnki's tart and sporadically dissonant Suite. It has a wistfully moody central movement and a sturdy and complex finale. Toronto-born Buczynski studied with Darius Milhaud and Godfrey Ridout. Papineau-Couture was born in Montreal and studied with Quincy Porter. His Fantaisie tends towards rasping and sometimes irritable sometimes grotesque modernism even in repose. Its asperity reflects its 1960s vintage. There something in the air and it wasn't going away any time soon. It's in a single long movement and was commissioned by CBC Winnipeg. Papineau-Couture had an impressive stable of pupils including François Morel, André Prévost, Gilles Tremblay and Jacques Hétu. Hétu is represented on this disc by two works: His Four Miniatures are for wind trio - playful, concise, robust and deftly atonal. The music draws on a score he wrote for a documentary of primary schools. The Hétu Quintet mixes serial, modal and tonal approaches in a skittish and succinctly expressed mélange. We are told that the Quintet has become one of the most popular Canadian wind quintets - I am surprised that this honour has not been usurped by the Dela. In any event this disc is well done at every level and has left me keen to hear more by these composers especially Dela and Hétu.

The notes, in French and English, by clarinettist Pauline Farrugia are consistently helpful and full of interest. They tell us that the Dela work was amongst the first Canadian woodwind quintets.

Rob Barnett




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