Franck: Prélude, Choral et Fugue; Les Djinns; Variations Symphoniques; etc | Classical review

Chamayou/Latry/Royal Scottish National O/Denève

This is an intriguing collection of César Franck's five works involving a solo piano, all featuring the up-and-coming French pianist Bertrand Chamayou. Two of them are rarely heard, and another is a genuine oddity. The familiar pieces are the Prélude, Choral et Fugue for piano alone, and the Variations Symphoniques, for piano and orchestra, both of which are heard in concert and recorded regularly enough for Chamayou's perfectly adequate but under-characterised performances to face stiff competition. But he demonstrates that both the solo-piano Prélude, Aria et Final and Les Djinns, a compact symphonic poem for piano and orchestra based upon a Victor Hugo poem, deserve to be heard far more frequently. Meanwhile the texturally rather awkward Prélude, Fugue et Variation, for piano and harmonium, in which Chamayou is joined by Olivier Latry, provides a reminder that Franck was an organist first and foremost, and then a pianist.


Andrew Clements

The GuardianTramp

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