Jean-Louis Beaumadier : Various Artists
As spring arrives and thoughts turn to the outdoors, Pastoral makes an apt musical counterpart. Above all it is French piccoloist Jean-Louis Beaumadier’s playing that is memorable for perfectly-tuned long tones, controlled dynamic changes and technical virtuosity. Two short chamber pieces on the disc specify use of the piccolo; otherwise, Beaumadier has assembled a group of pastoral 20th-century works originally written for the pipe or the flute. Of special interest are seldom-heard miniatures for pipe by such composers as Roussel, Poulenc and Milhaud, published in the volume Pipeaux 1934. I particularly enjoyed the Poulenc Villanelle which has a quality of quirky sentiment. A number of composers included have associations with Beaumadier’s native Provence. Henri Tomasi (1901–1971) wrote Le tombeau de Mireille for galoubet (tabor) and tambourin (pipe), evocative of the medieval Provençal world of troubadours and chivalry. (Note: the tabor’s rattle takes getting used to.)
In the flute works, the piccolo’s pure, focused timbre shows to advantage, conveying well the birdsong, whistle, outdoor piping, dance and amatory elements of the pastoral genre. The soloist moves assuredly through contrasts of melody and rapid filigree in Philippe Gaubert’s tender Andante pastoral. He captures the intimate and pensive feeling in Germaine Tailleferre’s Pastorale, with its gently rocking piano accompaniment. The best is saved for last: the Sicilienne et burlesque (1914) by Alfredo Casella reminding us of the significant accomplishment of this neglected modernist.
“Brésil 1900” = Works of SILVA, REICHERT & CALLADO for piccolo & piano – Skarbo