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Girard: Le Cercle de la vie / Eloge de la folie / Les Noces d'Orphée

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Audio CD, February 26, 2013
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

A wide-ranging programme from a contemporary French composer for whom Minimalism, oriental music, poetry and mysticism are central to his works.


Born in France in 1959, Anthony Girard belongs to that school of composers who put a listener-friendly face on music of our time, his roots in Faure and Debussy. The four works on the present release span his career as a composer, the most extended, Le Cercle de la vie, his recent score dating from 2007. Remove the title and you have 24 Preludes for piano that are short and uncomplicated, their inner meanings given in the composer's programme notes. They do have something in common with Debussy, and many, the Twelfth being a good example, possess the ability of providing the listener with instant enjoyment, while others have a Messian-like hypnotic quality, Berg making a brief visit in the Sixteenth. In Girard's younger days he became very interested in oriental music, a fact that influences the sounds of the clarinet as it weaves its way around the piano In Praise of Folly.That feel of mysticism also underpins the musical fairy-tale, Les Noces d'Orphee, the cello providing the backdrop of sombre tones against which the capricious clarinet dances. The disc is completed by a short virtuoso clarinet showpiece, Fear of the cold night, that speaks of troubled thoughts. The much travelled French clarinettist, Jean-Marc Fessard, throws aside technical demands, while Genevieve Girard is a very agile pianist, her performance of the Preludes becoming the ingredient that persuades me to strongly recommend the disc. As the composer is the disc's producer, we may assume these are benchmark versions of all four works --David's Review Corner, David Denton

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