JEAN-MICHEL DAMASE (1928-2013): Symphony, Piano Concerto No. 2, Flute Concerto, Concertino for Piano and String Orchestra.
Catalogue Number: 09Q008
Label: Dutton Epoch
Reference: CDLX 7309
Description: You may have known Damase until now solely through his typically French, elegant chamber music. His only symphony, a youthful work of 1952, is like a comforting warm bath after a stressful workout: flowing, comfortable tempi (Moderato-Adagio-Allegro) with major doses of his two earliest and most important influences: Fauré and Poulenc (the latter even referred to the young Damase, in a not at all unkindly contexts as a "sous-Poulenc"). Oddly, the piece most indebted to Poulenc is the 1991 Concertino, rich in harmonies and nostalgic melodically; the flute concerto of the following year is more in the graceful and sparkling mode of Françaix. This leaves the 1962 piano concerto which adds flashes of Ravel in its hints of jazz rhythms in its outer movements. All very Gallic and very refreshing. Ashley Wass (piano), Anna Noakes (flute), BBC Concert Orchestra; Martin Yates.