FLORENTINE MULSANT (b.1962): Suite for String Orchestra, Op. 42 (National Chamber Orchestra of Armenia; Vahan Mardirossian), Quartet for Clarinet, Violin, Viola and Piano, Op. 22 (Stéphanie Carne [clarinet], Trio Tchaïka), Variations for Flute and Piano, Op. 11 (Isabelle Duval [flute], Asako Yoshida [piano]), Suite for Solo Cello, Op. 41 (Ingrid Schoenlaub), Vocalise for Solo Viola (Lise Berthaud).
Catalogue Number: 07T070
Description: Mulsant has an approachable style, emphasizing expressiveness above all, in an idiom synthesized from various European antecedents of the twentieth century. Her music sounds very French, with acknowledged indebtedness to Debussy, Ravel and Dutilleux. To these might be added Bartók, mainly in the tough, trenchant Suite for String Orchestra here, in which one scherzo-like movement also evokes a stamping dance reminiscent of Le sacre. The flute Variations are more impressionistic, the Debussy influence well to the fore here, while the emotionally eloquent Cello Suite, based on a motif derived from the name of the composer's deceased son, would make a worthy companion to Britten's. The 20-minute clarinet quartet runs the gamut of the composer's stylistic influences, the degree of evidence of its tonality varying considerably in the course of its three movements. Like two other works here it employs variation form, a favorite of the composer, and in all the pieces, the textural clarity and formal elegance are of the highest order.