The title Modern Romances is an alluring one, clearly hinting at so many possibilities but not giving too much away, yet appealing to curious listeners who would like a pleasant musical escape from these bleak times. The title of the opening trio, Ehestandsgeplauder– unpronounceable for many of us, but definitely eye-catching – can be translated as a ‘marital spat’ or ‘marriage chatter’. With many years’ experience as a military wind band conductor, German-Swiss composer Carl Friedemann knew how best to showcase the timbres and agility of the oboe and bassoon in a most entertaining and charming musical conversational piece. Choosing to write a single movement piece in C major to exude brightness and sunshine in a truly theatrical style, Friedemann conjured up images and tastes of a Gilbert and Sullivan overture, with clean, classical harmony and clearly defined 8-bar sections.

Ensemble Françaix

Ensemble Françaix (Emmanuel Cassimiatis on oboe, Matthew Kneale on bassoon and Nicholas Young on piano) are committed, highly focussed lovers of double reed music who turned this music into a delicious scene of colourful and precisely executed musical conversations. Very beautiful oboe sonorities enriched the Germanic folk-like ländler waltz...

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