JEAN FRANCAIX Concerto pour clavecin et ensemble instrumental - Trio pour violon, violoncelle et piano - Concerto pour guitare et orchestre à cordes

Jean Françaix was born on 23.5.1912 in Le Mans in France. He received his first music lessons at home: his father was a composer and pianist and also director of the Conservatoire and his mother a singing teacher and the founder of a renowned choir. In 1922 at the age of only 10, Françaix received his first tuition in harmony and later also counterpoint from Nadia Boulanger. The young composer wrote his first composition the very same year: a piano piece entitled “Pour Jacqueline”, dedicated to a cousin, which was printed two years later. Encouraged by Maurice Ravel, he continued his studies at the Paris Conservatoire. Alongside his compositional training, Françaix embarked on a career as concert pianist. At the age of 18, he received the first prize in the piano class of Isidore Philipp. Two years later, he represented the young French school of composition together with Claude Delvincourt at the international music festival in Vienna where his Huit Bagatelles were performed. Jean Françaix achieved international success in 1936 with the first performance of his Concertino for piano and orchestra at the chamber music festival in Baden-Baden. During the ensuing years, the composer extended his oeuvre with numerous works in a wide range of genres including operas, ballets, orchestral works and also solo concertos, film music and vocal works. The composer also focused intensively on chamber music. Françaix taught at the Ecole Normale de Musique in Paris from 1959 to 1962. He participated actively in concert life, frequently together with his daughter Claude as partner at the piano, right up to shortly before his death on 25.9.1997 in Paris.

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  1. This is a very fine recording. Françaix had a great command on the difficult art of creating both happy and entertaining without sounding obvious.

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