Recorded on 11/11/2011, uploaded on 04/05/2012
Musician's or Publisher's Notes
Tema con Variazioni for Clarinet and Piano by Jean Françaix
I. Largo; ModeratoII. Var.1. Larghetto misteriosoIII. Var.2. PrestoIV. Var.3. ModeratoV. Var.4. AdagioVI. Var.5. Tempo di ValzaVII. CadenzaVIII. Var.6. Prestissimo
Françaix’ “Tema con Variazioni” composed in 1974, is another piece for clarinet and piano commissioned by the Paris Conservatoire. Although used as that year's "Pièce de Concours" in the Conservatoire's clarinet department, Françaix dedicated the “Tema con Variazioni” to his grandson, Olivier.
The theme is soberly stated in a tempo marked Largo, and this is followed by a florid and impressive set of six variations. It is unlike what you would expect from a contemporary composer in that day and age. This decision Francaix made, to hold out against current trends, paid off in the long run, since the piece proved to be one of only a few chamber works of the 1970s to enter the standard repertoire. Inasmuch as it may be compared to other works within the long-running cycle of “Pièces de Concours” for clarinet at the Paris Conservatoire, the Françaix “Tema con Variazioni” runs a close third in popularity to the works by André Messager (1899) and Henri Rabaud (1901).
Courtesy of International Music Foundation.
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