Frederic Sánchez Muñoz, flute
Sherniyaz Mussakhan, violin
Jana Ozolina, violin
Lech Antonio Uszynski, viola
Gunta Ābele, cello
The ensemble “l’Airchet”, consisting of members of the Swiss Orchestra, discovers the Swiss composer Edouard Dupuy, reveal Ravel’s music in new colours, and take delight in a classic work by Dvořák.—
Edouard Dupuy (c. 1770–1822):
Concerto for flute in d minor, in a version for quintet (arranged by Frederic Sánchez Muñoz)
Antonín Dvořák (1841–1904):
String Quartet No. 12 in F major, op. 96, “The American”
Maurice Ravel (1875–1937):
Sonatina, in a version for quintet (arranged by Adam Manijak)
The members of the Swiss Orchestra are naturally also outstanding soloists and chamber musicians. Five of them have now joined forces under the name “l’Airchet”, and they offer here a completely unknown Swiss flute concerto along with French piano music arranged for quintet, plus a highpoint in the chamber music oeuvre of Antonín Dvořák.
Edouard Dupuy was born in Corcelles, not far from Lake Neuchâtel. He was an acclaimed singer, a busy concertmaster, a court opera conductor and a successful composer – a multitalented man famous in his own time, but quite forgotten today. He was also known for his numerous love affairs that resulted in illegitimate children and public scandal. He spent the greater part of his remarkable career in Copenhagen and at the Swedish court in Stockholm. His flute concerto was written in Sweden, and offers listeners a vivid impression of the reigning musical tastes of the early 19th century. It is clear that his great model was Mozart, but we can also discern the elegance and effervescence of a Rossini, while even the musical Romanticism that was just emerging seems to shimmer through softly.
The “American Quartet” by Antonín Dvořák pulsates with the joy of life. Mellifluous, idyllic and carefree, the first movement is full of song and sweet scents. It is followed by a Lento whose themes are beautifully melancholic, and then by two ingenious dances. The lively finale reminds some listeners of a groovy jazz band. This quartet was written in just 14 days and is the result of a family holiday that the Dvořáks took in Spillville in Iowa, a small town in the Midwest, where the composer went to relax in the summer of 1893 in order to recover from the hustle and bustle of New York and the stress of his job running the National Conservatory of Music, where he was director from 1892 to 1895.
Dupuy held Mozart in great admiration. This was something that he had in common with Maurice Ravel, whose Piano Sonatina, written between 1903 and 1905, is firmly rooted in the Classical tradition. Its captivating formal clarity and the enchanting impression that it leaves on listeners are truly reminiscent of Mozart. Our musicians have here chosen a delightful arrangement of this Sonatina for flute and string quartet. It’s an instrumental ensemble that seems ideal for the many colours of Ravel’s music.
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