Tempo

A major publication, this set recalls the diversity, the extent and the strength of Paul Taffanel’s heritage, unequalled to this day, bringing together in three CDs the different aspects of Taffanel the composer, the arranger and propagator (volume 1: Vision ), the dedicatee (volume 2: Dedication ), and as inspirer, creator and master (volume 3: Imagination ). A whole world is brought together here which brings up some surprises and some premières, for example in the second volume which puts together the luminous Sonata by Charles de Bériot, the Suite by Clémence de Granval – see the Selection of Scores , p.59 – (more than twenty minutes each), the exquisite Deux pièces of Charles-Edouard Lefebvre and some rarities like the Nocturne of Louis Reynaud, the Ballade et danse des lutins of Francois Borne and the Romance of Emile Bernard.

The works more readily associated with Paul Taffanel – the Sonata of Carl Reinecke or the Fantasie pastorale hongroise of Franz Doppler – are full of the same charm which confers on this boxed set a certain uniqueness. Clearly the two artists have tried throughout the whole programme to imagine the sound-world of Paul Taffanel with respect and precision, moving away if thought necessary from current styles of interpretation. The relevance, the illustrations and the quality of the accompanying booklet extends the tribute. Kenneth Smith whose reputation has been established for a long time outside France where he is still too little known has participated in more than five hundred recordings with the Philharmonia Orchestra of London, of which he has been solo flute since 1983, and has recorded twelve discs with the pianist Paul Rhodes.

—Pascal Gresset