One of the most grown-up review sites around
One of the most grown-up review sites around

Search MusicWeb Here


International mailing

Up to 40% off

  Founder: Len Mullenger

Some items
to consider

in the first division

extraordinary by any standards

An excellent disc

a new benchmark

summation of a lifetime’s experience.

Piano Concertos 1 and 2
Surprise Best Seller and now

A Garland for John McCabe


DIETHELM Symphonies

The best Rite of Spring in Years

BACH Magnificat

Brian Symphs 8, 21, 26

Just enjoy it!

La Mer Ticciati








Advertising on

Donate and keep us afloat


New Releases

Naxos Classical

Nimbus Podcast

Obtain 10% discount

Special offer 50% off

Musicweb sells the following labels
Acte Préalable
(THE Polish label)
Altus 10% off
Atoll 10% off
CRD 10% off
Hallé 10% off
Lyrita 10% off
Nimbus 10% off
Nimbus Alliance
Prima voce 10% off
Red Priest 10% off
Retrospective 10% off
Saydisc 10% off
Sterling 10% off

Follow us on Twitter

Subscribe to our free weekly review listing

Sample: See what you will get

Editorial Board
MusicWeb International
Founding Editor
Rob Barnett
Senior Editor
John Quinn
Seen & Heard
Editor Emeritus
   Bill Kenny
Editor in Chief
MusicWeb Webmaster
   David Barker
MusicWeb Founder
   Len Mullenger



CD: MDT AmazonUK AmazonUS
Sound Samples & Downloads

Déodat De SÉVERAC (1872-1921)
Piano Music - Volume 2
Baigneuses au soleil (Souvenir de Banyuls-sur-mer) (1908) [6.34]
Les Naïades et le faune indiscret (Danse Nocturne) (1908-9) [7.18]
En Vacances (Group 1) (1919) [19.35]; (Group 2) (1922) [12.18]
Sous les lauriers roses - Soir de carnaval sur la côte catalane (1919) [14.32]
Jordi Masó (piano)
rec. Auditorium, Jafre, Spain, 29-30 January 2011
NAXOS 8.572428 [60.42]

Experience Classicsonline

My word, the amazing Jordi Masó has been busy in the last decade. No wonder it’s been ten years exactly between volumes 1 and 2 of Séverac’s evocative piano music. In between times he has recorded composers like Roberto Gerhard, Mompou, Montsalvatge and Padre Donostia. Note the Southern French, Northern Spanish in other words Catalonian emphasis. Masó was born in Barcelona so he has excellent credentials.
I first came across Déodat de Séverac as a song composer many years ago but more recently when picking up volume 1 (Naxos 8.555855) of his piano music in an airport on my way back from a wonderful holiday in Provence. It seemed such perfect music to act as a souvenir of a perfect holiday containing as it did works such as the Suite In Languedoc which I love and admire.
This new disc opens with Baigneuses au Soleil. It’s best to think of Renoir’s gorgeous painting of naked female ‘baigneuses’ when listening to this happy, dancing piece although the excellent booklet notes by the prolific Keith Anderson fail to draw a similar analogy. It is dedicated to Alfred Cortot. Although Séverac was a pupil of D’Indy and Magnard this piece and others to come, remind one that he had stronger, impressionist leanings towards the styles of Debussy and probably Ravel.
The next track Les naïades et la faune indiscret (The naïads and the prying faune) is really a follow-up to the first piece. Being subtitled Danse Nocturne it does indeed inhabit a world of dancing but fading sunlight suggestive of Monet or Sisley. It’s utterly charming and only found by accident by the composer’s daughter over thirty years after her father’s all too early death.
Sous les lauriers roses is to my mind the least successful piece on the disc. It is a Fantasy, not especially interesting or original which in English translates as ‘Under the Oleanders’. Its dedication to Chabrier, Albeniz and the lesser-known Charles Bordes - all Séverac teachers - puts the piece in a stylistic no-man’s land, which oscillates between the three. A carnival mood is set up and is unremitting for much of its quarter of an hour. There is a passage specifically related to each of his teachers. The one to Bordes is in a bouncy 5/8. There is also a Sardana. I recall seeing one of these danced one balmy evening in Perpignan.
The main works on the CD are the two groups of En Vacances. The first consists of seven pieces. It seems reasonable to think of Séverac as using Schumann’s Kinderszenen as a point of inspiration especially as the composer describes the pieces as being of ‘moyenne difficulté’. The first miniature is an Invocation to Schumann. There then follow seven little and charming sketches subtitled In the Chateau and the Park which are delightfully domestic including a lovely Grandma’s Caresses, another rather jumpy piece entitled The two little girls from next door, a slightly serious Ronde dans le Parc and a happy Valse Romantique which is not that easy to play. A few turns of its turns of phrase reminded me of Ravel.
Just consisting of three pieces the En Vacances (2me Recueil) begins with a waltz in the style of Chopin. It has some typical turns of phrase (La Fontaine de Chopin) and a touch of Mediterranean warmth. This most pianistic of miniatures is, oddly, dedicated to an organist Raoul-Giral de Solancier. Next is La Vasque aux Colombes, which was completed after Séverac’s death by that great pianist Blanche Selva. The third piece is a rather didactic The Two Musketeers but which is, the composer tells us, a ‘Canon without danger of being too academic’; that’s how one might best translate the French title. When published in 1922 this whole work must surely have seemed a little anachronistic.
I must add that although the pieces here are charming and pleasing this second volume of Séverac’s piano music is nowhere near as interesting or evocative as the pieces on the older disc. This is not decry the playing of Jordi Masó who brings out the nuances of each individual piece most pertinently or the recording which does not intervene between the performer and the listener.
The CD cover image by ‘eyewave’ is even odder than usual - a silhouetted beach figure carrying a spade, perhaps ‘en vacances’?

Gary Higginson


















































































































Making a Donation to MusicWeb

Writing CD reviews for MWI

About MWI
Who we are, where we have come from and how we do it.

Site Map

How to find a review

How to find articles on MusicWeb
Listed in date order

Review Indexes
   By Label
      Select a label and all reviews are listed in Catalogue order
   By Masterwork
            Links from composer names (eg Sibelius) are to resource pages with links to the review indexes for the individual works as well as other resources.

Themed Review pages

Jazz reviews


      Composer surveys
      Unique to MusicWeb -
a comprehensive listing of all LP and CD recordings of given works
Prepared by Michael Herman

The Collector’s Guide to Gramophone Company Record Labels 1898 - 1925
Howard Friedman

Book Reviews

Complete Books
We have a number of out of print complete books on-line

With Composers, Conductors, Singers, Instumentalists and others
Includes those on the Seen and Heard site


Nostalgia CD reviews

Records Of The Year
Each reviewer is given the opportunity to select the best of the releases

Monthly Best Buys
Recordings of the Month and Bargains of the Month

Arthur Butterworth Writes

An occasional column

Phil Scowcroft's Garlands
British Light Music articles

Classical blogs
A listing of Classical Music Blogs external to MusicWeb International

Reviewers Logs
What they have been listening to for pleasure



Bulletin Board

Give your opinions or seek answers

Pat and present

Helpers invited!

How Did I Miss That?

Currently suspended but there are a lot there with sound clips

Composer Resources

British Composers

British Light Music Composers

Other composers

Film Music (Archive)
Film Music on the Web (Closed in December 2006)

Programme Notes
For concert organizers

External sites
British Music Society
The BBC Proms
Orchestra Sites
Recording Companies & Retailers
Online Music
Agents & Marketing
Other links
Web News sites etc

A pot-pourri of articles

MW Listening Room
MW Office

Advice to Windows Vista users  
Site History  
What they say about us
What we say about us!
Where to get help on the Internet
CD orders By Special Request
Graphics archive
Currency Converter
Web Ring
Translation Service

Rules for potential reviewers :-)
Do Not Go Here!
April Fools

Untitled Document

Reviews from previous months
Join the mailing list and receive a hyperlinked weekly update on the discs reviewed. details
We welcome feedback on our reviews. Please use the Bulletin Board
Please paste in the first line of your comments the URL of the review to which you refer.