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2004 France

Music@Menlo 2004’s French program offers a selection of chamber works by four of that country’s most deliciously stylish composers. Claude Debussy’s Petite Pièce and Première Rhapsodie employ a rich kaleidoscope of harmonic colors, as does the early Sonatina for Flute and Piano of Henri Dutilleux, which betrays the influence of such Impressionist composers as Debussy and Maurice Ravel. Francis Poulenc’s devilishly stylish Trio for Oboe, Bassoon, and Piano has rightfully remained among the composer’s most popular chamber works. Gabriel Fauré’s Piano Quartet in c minor, though the earliest work on the program, nevertheless bears the hallmarks of French music: lush, sensual harmonies, freely flowing and deeply felt melodies, and an expressive and communicative immediacy.

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