Jean CRAS (1879-1932)
FlÛte, harpe et cordes Trio à cordes (1926) [24:01]
Deux Impromptus pour harpe (1925) [9:19]
Suite en duo (flute and harp) (1927) [14:29]
Quintette pour flÛte, harpe et cordes (1928) [20:53]
Juliette Hurel (flute); Marie-Pierre Langlamet (harp); Philippe Graffin (violin); Miguel da Silva (viola); Henri Demarquette (cello)
rec. Paris, Sept and Nov 2010
TIMPANI 1C1179 [69:30]
No half measures from Timpani. When they adopt a composer the chances are they will record everything. So it is with Jean Cras and his tenderly passionate and often Ravel-like music. This is their ninth Cras volume and it encompasses works from the four years 1925-28. The harvest is a prime grand cru.
I feared that his 1926 String Trio might have been rather antiseptic - even academic. No such thing. This is an emotionally surging work striking home with glancing gestures towards the Ravel String Quartet and the 1910s chamber music of Herbert Howells. This is a superbly lush folk-impressionistic work. From the year before comes the two harp Impromptus the first of which strikes me as more nordic-bardic than Gallic impressionistic. The second has more brio and a broader sweeter endearment. They're both magical. The 1927 suite for harp and flute is in three tightly concise little movements. These are more Mediterranean pan-classical with a delicious Modéré (II). The Quintet for harp, flute and strings is gloriously immersed in sun-ripened melody and ripely roseate lyricism. The third movement is touching like the shade of a lover caressing the one left behind. half in sun and half in shadow.
If you enjoy the Ravel Introduction and Allegro, the Bax Harp Quintet and the chamber music writing of Ropartz, Delage and Howells’ Piano Quartet this is for you. Sumptuously lyrical performances match music for which these artists might well have been made.
Michel Fleury wrote the liner-notes.
Sumptuously lyrical performances match music for which these artists might well have been made.