MAURICE GUILLAUME (1899-1983): Piano Trio, Op. 34, Piano Sonata in F Sharp, Op. 38, Piano Sonata in G, Op.48, for organ: Final of Organ Symphony No. 1, Op. 6, In simplicitate cordis mei, Op. 34/2, Prière, Op. 5,Prière du matin, Op. 11/2, Souvenir for Oboe and Piano, Op.51, Recitativo et andantino for Saxophone and Piano, Op. 80, four-part voices: Adoro te devote, Op. 61, Adoro te, o panic, Op. 62, O quand amabilis, Op. 64, Tantum ergo, Op. 65, Songs: La Bière, April, Op. 4, Chanson de l’Adieu, Op. 7, 2 anchovies, Op. 26, L’insidieuse suit, Op. 28, L’amitié, Op. 33, Puisqu’il m’a dit de ne rien craindre, Op. 35, Berceuse, Op. 45, Nos klokes, Loverval à Mater Spei, Op.81.

Catalogue Number: 07Y040

Label: Cyprès

Reference: CYP2626

Format: CD

Price: $27.98

Description: Guillaume was a complete musician; a renowned organist, highly regarded teacher, and composer of over eighty works of stylistic elegance and real quality, who spent his life out of the spotlight and did absolutely nothing to seek fame, major professional positions or even publication. He studied with Joseph Jongen, who thought so highly of his skill at the organ that he lamented that Guillaume did not move to Brussels in search of more prestigious employment, though Guillaume's reputation did lead to invitations to perform at major organ and sacred music festivals, and to appear as recitalist. He was essentially a conservative composer, rarely venturing near Messiaen in terms of harmony, though he was familiar with the French composer's works, and performed them. All the works here are tonal, and display total assurance in composing for diverse instruments and ensembles. Perhaps unsurprisingly, the organ works show the composer at his most individual and adventurous, based on the idioms of Tournemire and Jongen and overlapping with that of Langlais, while speaking with a wholly individual voice. The finale of the first organ symphony (where’s the rest of it then? And how many did he write?) is among the earliest works here, but it displays no trace of inexperience from the natural organist-composer; the piece is a stunning tour de force which begins as a fine example of the French toccata finale style but moves into a far wider range of expressive, textural and harmonic territory in its 12-minute span. The piano sonatas, from 1945 and 1950, are economical in scale and contain music of the utmost refinement and elegance, with a total absence of grandiose bombast, though with no shortage of scintillating virtuosity in the finale of Op.38 and passages of Op.48. Stylistically, the music falls between late Romanticism and Impressionism, with Debussy an audible influence. The slightly earlier Piano Trio occupies similar stylistic territory, with perhaps a greater sense of Romantic drama. The songs, crystalline yet sensuous, with their exquisite, eloquent lyricism and uncluttered accompaniments, are comparable to Duparc, Chausson, or Ravel. (The exception is an early adaptation of a rambunctious Belgian drinking song, straight out of a tavern scene in a comic opera!) The hymns, in lovely four-part harmony, are calmly elevated and devotional in mood. Also included are an utterly charming piece for harp, a lovely, lyrical, folksong-inflected piece for oboe and piano, and a late, surprisingly popular chanson-inflected work for saxophone and piano. Various artists.


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