Classical Music | Music for Trio

Jean Françaix

Trio (1990)  Play

Trio di Colore Trio

Recorded on 05/16/2006, uploaded on 01/22/2009

Musician's or Publisher's Notes

Trio (1990)                Jean Françaix 

 Preludio; Allegrissimo; Scherzando; Largo; Presto 

Françaix's natural gifts were encouraged from an early age by his family: his father a musicologist composer, and pianist, and his mother, a teacher of singing. He was only six when he took up composing, and his first publication, in 1922, caught the attention of a composer working for the publishing house who steered the gifted boy toward a gifted teacher, Nadia Boulanger. She encouraged Françaix's career, often conducting his works herself.  Maurice Ravel said of the young Françaix to the boy's parents, "Among the child's gifts I observe above all the most fruitful an artist can possess, that of curiosity: you must not stifle these precious gifts now or ever, or risk letting this young sensibility wither." They did not, and he flourished: Françaix was a prolific composer, writing over 200 pieces in a wide variety of styles.

As he was considered a virtuoso pianist, many of Françaix's works feature the piano, particularly his numerous chamber works which he wrote for nearly every orchestral instrument and standard ensemble. He was a skilled orchestrator, which was reflected in his use of tone colors. Though he often put his own modern spin on the old modes of expression, he was an avowed neoclassicist who rejected atonality and formless wanderings, and he drew from great literature of the past for his vocal settings.  Françaix's style is marked by lightness and wit (a stated goal of his was to "give pleasure"), as well as a conversational style of interplay between the musical lines. It changed little throughout his career; while he was influenced by composers he admired (such as Igor Stravinsky, Maurice Ravel, and Francis Poulenc), he integrated what he picked up into his own distinct aesthetic, which was already evident in his early works.    Guy Yehuda