One thing this music reminds us of happily and memorably is that the early Modern French chamber style so nicely represented here was Post-Romantic in its general Impressionism, Romantically expressive in a different way than 19th century styles--in other words rather more luminescent, harmonically sophisticated and decidedly atmospheric.
What especially attracts me to this program is the wide swatch of composers covered, just about a definitive sample of the leading lights for expressive inventiveness back then. So we have two pieces by Gabriel Faure, and one apiece by the likes of Francois Poulenc, Darius Milhaud, Lili Boulanger, Nadia Boulanger, Maurice Ravel, and Claude Debussy.
The music has real substance. Matt and Mari take pains to give each a detailed regardful mood and a dynamic reading, nothing less than what one might come to expect from such a talented pairing. The result is an album all Francophiles should revel in and listen to repeatedly with increasing pleasure. Strongly recommended.
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