One of the most grown-up review sites around


Search MusicWeb Here

     
  
 

 

International mailing


  Founder: Len Mullenger             Senior Editor: John Quinn               Contact Seen and Heard here  

Some items
to consider


16th-19th November


Shostakovich 4, 11 Nelsons
Transparent Granite!


Nothing but Praise


BrucKner 4 Nelsons
the finest of recent years.

superb BD-A sound

This is a wonderful set


Telemann continues to amaze


A superb disc

Performances to cherish

An extraordinary disc.

rush out and buy this

I favour above all the others

Frank Martin - Exemplary accounts

Asrael Symphony
A major addition


Another Bacewicz winner


match any I’ve heard


An outstanding centenary collection


personable, tuneful, approachable


a very fine Brahms symphony cycle.


music that will be new to most people


telling, tough, thoughtful, emotionally fleet and powerfully recorded


hitherto unrecorded Latvian music

 


Support us financially by purchasing this from
 

Marcel DUPRÉ (1886-1971)
Complete Piano Works
Variations in C-sharp minor, Op. 22 (1924) [15:12]
6 Preludes, Op. 12 (1916) [20:02]
4 Pieces,  Op. 19 (1921) [14:27]
Gracieuse (four-hands) [1:44]
Berceuse [4:03]
Ballade pour piano et orgue, Op. 30 (1932) [10:33]
François-Michel Rignol (piano), Lorraine Lacaze (piano) (Gracieuse), Marguerite Dupré (piano) & Pierre Cochereau (organ) (Ballade)
rec. 2017, L'église St-Félix du Domaine de Bayssan à Béziers, 1956, in the home of Pierre Cochereau, Paris (Ballade)
SOLSTICE SOCD348 [66:12]

Like many others, I always tend to associate the name of Marcel Dupré exclusively with the organ, in the roles of composer, performer and pedagogue. Reading Michel Roubinet's excellent accompanying liner notes, it's obvious that the doyen of the French organ wasn't for having his wings clipped as far as composition was concerned. A cursory glance at his oeuvre reveals choral, vocal and chamber music and a Fantasie for piano and orchestra. The solo piano music was written between 1916 and 1924 when he was in his thirties, with the Ballade for piano and organ coming slightly later in 1932. I'm surprised that none of this music has seen the light of day before on disc, at least I'm assuming this is so, as the CD cover states that these are premiere recordings.

The most substantial work here, at just over 15 minutes, is the Variations in C-sharp minor, Op. 22, dedicated to the Québecois composer Alfred La Liberté. The theme has a solemn, wistful quality and the twenty variations that follow are all relatively brief. Various aspects of piano technique and diverse rhythmic patterns are explored. François-Michel Rignol’s imaginative characterization of each cannot fail to win you over.

The Six Preludes, Op. 12 from 1916 eschew the virtuosic bombast of much post-Romantic piano music. They favour instead a more intimate approach, where sensitive colouring of sonority and subtle nuancing of lines is paramount. In the ordering of the six pieces, Dupré alternates slow preludes with more animated ones, thus providing suitable contrast. Nos II and V1 require a high level of virtuosity. The first Prelude is dark and sombre, probing the deep recesses of the keyboard, and the overall effect is one of disquiet. In No. III, Rignol achieves marvellous fluidity and luminous colour in the cascading roulades, and in V his delicate voicing of chords offers some welcome diaphanous sheen.

The Four Pieces, Op. 19, date from 1921 and were dedicated to Clara Haskill. Étude, chromatically complex, presents a challenge to any pianist. In Cortège et Litanie, Rignol’s arpeggiated chords at the start truly glisten and, as the work progresses, he skilfully builds the music up to a potent climax. Chanson gives testimony to Dupré’s melodic gifts, and Air de ballet to his rhythmic imagination.

Gracieuse (for four hands) and Berceuse are recently discovered manuscripts by the composer’s granddaughter, and remain unpublished and undated. They were both dedicated to his daughter. Both are suffused with elegance and charm. The Ballade is an intriguing bonus. It was recorded in 1956 in the home of Pierre Cochereau, Paris, with Marguerite Dupré, the composer’s daughter, on the piano. The piano appears to be the leading light, and is forwardly projected in the balance. Nevertheless, both instruments blend well in this unusual combination, one I certainly have never encountered before.

For anyone, like myself, with an interest in French piano music, this release will be welcomed with open arms. François-Michel Rignol’s infectious enthusiasm and cultivated musicianship should win this wonderful music many new acquaintances. I salute Solstice.

Stephen Greenbank

Previous review: Rob Barnett

 

 




Advertising on
Musicweb



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

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
   Vacant
MusicWeb Webmaster
   David Barker
MusicWeb Founder
   Len Mullenger