Date: Tue, 20 Apr 1999 22:49:58 -0500
From: "Keith Thompson" <>
Subject: Re: Best French Literature

Hello Greg [et al],

Well, I'm not willing to step out and say these are "the best", but here are my favorites:

1. Charles Chaynes - Concerto (1956)
My clear favorite, both to play and to hear.  Does anyone  know where I can get a copy of the old Erato Maurice Andre recording that MHS had? The Eric Aubier recording is excellent, but it's just not the same.

2. Jean Francaix - Sonatine (1952)
WOW!  Can I say that again? Yeah, WOW!  This will most definitely be on my next recital (if indeed such an event eventually occurs).  The recording to get is by Ole Edvard Antonsen.

3. Henri Tomasi - Triptyque (1957)
It's actually three of his earlier etudes set to accompaniments I guess, but I love it.  The only recording of this I've heard is by Thomas Stevens.  I'd like to hear another if anyone has suggestions, although I do enjoy his recording despite it being (in my opinion) a bit mechanical [as if I should be allowed to critique the man].

4. Alfred Desenclos - Incantation, Threne et Danse (1953)
Excitement and color from beginning to end. The recording by Eric Aubier (which may be the only?) is wonderful.

5. Marcel Bitsch - Quatre Variations (1950)
What great fun! I see this as really a cornet piece, not C trumpet, but since you listed it, I can too. :)  Again, I go with the Ole Edvard Antonsen recording hands down over all others I've heard.

Yeah, I glossed over a couple of the biggees like the Tomasi Concerto (which just doesn't do anything for me) and the Jolivet Concertos (which with my jazz background I should really go for, but...).

Some shorter pieces that I give honorable mention to are:

   Jacques Ibert - Impromptu
   Eugene Bozza - Rustiques
   Henri Tomasi - Variations Gregoriennes

What wonderful ideas you gave me for the practice room tonight. And I thought I was going to be playing through some boring etudes!
Thanks, Greg.

- -keith