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The French Accent
Francis POULENC (1899-1963)
Trio (1926) [10:28]
Ludwig THUILLE (18861-1907)
Gavotte from the Sextet (1887) [3:36]
Georges AURIC (1899-1983)
Trio (c.1938) [9:58]
Albert ROUSSEL (1869-1937)
Divertissement, op.6 (1906) [6:54]
Marguerite ROESGEN-CHAMPION (1894-1976)
Pastorale [6:36]
Jacques HOTTETERRE (1674-1763)
Suite/Sonata in D (1715) [7:31]
Pierre-Octave FERROUD (1900-1936)
Trio (1933) [8:51]
Igor STRAVINSKY (1882-1971)
Pastorale (written/arranged 1907/1933) [2:44]
André JOLIVET (1905-1974)
Sérénade avec hautbois principal (1945) [15:13]
Jules MASSENET (1842-1912)
"La Troyenne regrettant sa patrie", Les Erinnyes (1873) [3:56]
rec. 1928-1958
OBOE CLASSICS CC2025 [76:56]

The French accent is provided by the inimitable tonalists of the French wind schools, led by the specific objects of the disc, the oboists. In a sumptuous booklet Geoffrey Burgess provides some biographical and track commentary which I’m sure readers will find extremely helpful.
 
The recordings trace a period from 1928 to 1958, three decades which charted the move from early electric discs to tape, and from unselfconscious studio spontaneity to a more cautious, indeed slightly regimented approach to studio recording. The latter quality is certainly not in evidence in Poulenc’s recording of his own Trio for oboe, bassoon and piano. His better-known remake was made in 1959. Back in 1928, two years after the work had been composed, one finds a really involving and dynamic approach to rhythms and to the possibilities of vitesse. That said, metrical flexibility is certainly not ignored, nor the uneasy lyricism of the slow movement. The Gavotte from Thuille’s Sextet, played by the Société Taffanel des Instruments à vent, was the filler to Mozart’s Wind Quintet. It has real charm and also, note, the Czech pianist and composer Erwin Schulhoff is the pianist. No one could call Georges Auric deficient in the drollery department. His Trio is played by the elite Trio d'Anches de Paris, and they certainly locate the insouciance and vitality that lies within this succinct work.
 
Roussel’s lovely, brief Divertissement was composed in 1906 and is played by the Quintette à Vent Français in 1955. Of this group, every member was a leading player, but Jean-Pierre Rampal will be the most familiar. Marguerite Roesgen-Champion wrote her Pastorale for oboe, cello and harpsichord but here she takes the keyboard part herself, preferring to record on a piano, in 1936. She can be heard introducing the Introduction and Waltz section, a ‘spoken autograph’ and something Parisian studios were keen to do. Pierre Pierlot, oboist of the Quintette à Vent Français, displays his characteristically reedy tone when recording Jacques Hotteterre’s baroque Suite in D which was published in 1715. Earlier Pierre-Octave Ferroud’s 1933 Trio is performed by the Trio d’Anches de Paris in 1936, a fluidly engaging piece that probably doesn’t merit the epithet ‘Daliesque’. One of the most famous recordings in this disc is Stravinsky’s Pastorale in which Samuel Dushkin is the violinist and Louis Gomer the oboist. Jolivet’s Sérénade (composed 1945, recorded 1958) is sensuously evocative and played with suave skill. The oboe’s purity of sound can be gauged in the 1931 disc of Massenet’s La Troyenne regrettant sa patrie. Louis Gaudard is the splendid oboist and one listens, too, to the woody noble cantilena of probably my favourite cellist, Maurice Maréchal.
 
This excellent survey restores some rarer items to the catalogue alongside other things that may well be somewhat more familiar. In any case, this is a cornerstone of both performance and repertoire and greatly to be welcomed.
 
Jonathan Woolf

Performance details
Auric: The Trio d'Anches de Paris (Myrtile Morel (oboe), Pierre Lefebvre (clarinet) and Fernand Oubradous (bassoon)) rec. 1938
Ferroud: Trio d'Anches de Paris (Myrtile Morel (oboe), Pierre Lefebvre (clarinet) and Fernand Oubradous (bassoon)), rec. 1936
Hotteterre: Pierre Pierlot (oboe) and Pauline Aubert (harpsichord), rec. 1950.
Jolivet: Quintette à Vent Français (Pierre Pierlot (oboe), Jean-Pierre Rampal (flute), Jacques Lancelot (clarinet), Gilbert Coursier (horn) and Paul Hongne (bassoon)), rec. 1958.
Massenet: Louis Gaudard (oboe) and Maurice Maréchal (cello), orchestra/Elie Cohen, rec. 1931
Poulenc: Roland Lamorlette (oboe), Gustave Dherin (bassoon), Francis Poulenc (piano), rec. 1928.
Roesgen-Champion: Louis Bleuzet (oboe), Auguste Cruque (cello) and Marguerite Roesgen-Champion (piano), rec. 1936
Roussel: Quintette à Vent Français (Pierre Pierlot (oboe), Jean-Pierre Rampal (flute), Jacques Lancelot (clarinet), Gilbert Coursier (horn) and Paul Hongne (bassoon)), Robert Veyron-Lacroix (piano) rec. 1955
Stravinsky: Louis Gromer (oboe), Georges Durand (cor anglais), André Vacellier (clarinet), Gabriel Grandmaison (bassoon) and Samuel Dushkin (violin), rec. 1933.
Thuille: Société Taffanel des Instruments à vent: René Le Roy (flute), Louis Bas (oboe), Achille Gras (clarinet), Edouard Hénon (bassoon) and Jules Vialet (horn), with Erwin Schulhoff (piano), rec. 1929

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