Au Suivant! Ravel, Fauré: Chansons for Piano Quartet Flex Ensemble
- Maurice Ravel (1875 - 1937): Ma mère l'Oye, M. 60:
- 1Ma mère l'Oye, M. 60: I. Pavane de la belle au bois dormant (Arr. for Piano Quartet)01:21
- 2Ma mère l'Oye, M. 60: II. Petit Poucet (Arr. for Piano Quartet)02:26
- 3Ma mère l'Oye, M. 60: III. Laideronette, impèratrice des pagodes (Arr. for Piano Quartet)03:15
- 4Ma mère l'Oye, M. 60: IV. Les entretiens des la belle et de la bête (Arr. for Piano Quartet)03:36
- 5Ma mère l'Oye, M. 60: V. Le jardin féerique (Arr. for Piano Quartet)03:08
- Johannes Schollhorn (b. 1962): Plus blanche, Song after Claude le Jeune:
- 6Plus blanche, Song after Claude le Jeune05:32
- Sebastian Koolhoven (b. 1959): Au Suivant
- 7Au Suivant03:59
- James Williamson (b. 1974): Chanson Ruée:
- 8Chanson Ruée01:11
- Gérard Pesson (b. 1958): Rentrez soupirs after Marc-Antoine Charpentier
- 9Rentrez soupirs after Marc-Antoine Charpentier04:31
- Konstantinos Raptis (b. 1973): Flambée Montalbanaise:
- 10Flambée Montalbanaise04:10
- Gabriel Fauré (1845 - 1924): Piano Quartet in C Minor, Op. 15:
- 11Piano Quartet in C Minor, Op. 15: I. Allegro molto moderato09:12
- 12Piano Quartet in C Minor, Op. 15: II. Sacherzo. Allehro vivo - Trio05:42
- 13Piano Quartet in C Minor, Op. 15: III. Adagio06:26
- 14Piano Quartet in C Minor, Op. 15: IV. Allegro molto08:04
Info for Au Suivant! Ravel, Fauré: Chansons for Piano Quartet
Flex Ensemble second album (Au suivant / Next!) highlights three different genres of French music: A youthful work by Fauré, written in the late romantic piano quartet tradition, character pieces by Ravel in a new arrangement for piano quartet and an eclectic mix of contemporary interpretations of French Chansons from Claude Le Jeune up to Georges Brassens.
It all began with Fauré… his C minor Piano Quartet is one of the earliest works that we learned as an ensemble. We immediately formed a personal connection to the quartet, perhaps one of Fauré’s most popular chamber music works. With its emotional core, instrumental colour, flowing but clear form, and the fascinating story behind its creation, we embraced the challenge of exploring our sound and furthering our comprehension of French musical literature.
Some years later we received an unexpected gift: The first movement of Ravel’s Ma Mère l´Oye arranged for piano quartet by our friend Shintaro Sakabe. “Try it,” he said, “I think it might work”. The success of this first movement quickly led to him arranging the rest of the suite. Each handwritten movement came in one by one, unexpected presents we gleefully opened at the start of rehearsals. Before long, we were including his arrangement in our concert programs. The magic of this version lies, we think, in the fact that Shintaro based it on the four-hand piano version instead of the orchestral version. It is very intimate, personal and objective, but we sometimes get a wave of the orchestral sound. It is perhaps the very essence of the French chamber music tradition.
Winners of the Gianni Bergamo Classic Music Award 2015 in Lugano, the four musicians of the Flex Ensemble have quickly established themselves as one of the most vibrant ensembles of their generation. Within a year of their formation, the Flex Ensemble was awarded 1st prize at the International Schumann Chamber Music Award in Frankfurt in 2013, where they also received a special prize for their interpretation of the Schumann piano quartet. They are the recipient of awards and prizes at the Kiejstut Bacewicz International Chamber Music Competition in Lodz/Poland, the Premio Trio di Trieste/Italy, and the Solti Foundation in England.
Based on this success, the Flex Ensemble has appeared at venues such as the Concertgebouw Amsterdam, the Alte Oper Frankfurt, the Beijing Performing Arts Center, the Meistersingerhalle Nürnberg and Festivals such as the Festival de Musique de Menton, the Sommerliche Musiktage Hitzacker, the Heidelberger Frühling, and the Prishtina International Music Festival. On many occasions their performances have been recorded and broadcast live on German Radio (SWR and NDR Kultur) and Dutch Radio (Radio 4).
The Flex Ensemble’s dedication to the major piano quartet literature is complemented by their wish to enrich artists and audiences alike by commissioning new works. Their programs include world premieres Márton Illés, Gérard Pesson and Johannes Schöllhorn. They collaborate with a wide range of distinguished artists such as Wolfgang Güttler (double bass), Oliver Wille (violin), Albrecht Mayer (Oboe), Daniel Rowland (violin), Elsbeth Moser (Bayan) and Kostas Raptis (bandoneon).
In addition to their concerts the members of Flex Ensemble create and perform musical programs for children. They visit schools and let children experience chamber music of all possible styles and characters.
Formed in 2012, the members of the Flex Ensemble study at the Hanover University of Music, Drama and Media, working extensively with Oliver Wille. They had many inspiring masterclasses with Eberhard Feltz, Mark Gothoni, and Konrad Elser, to name a few. They are a scholar ensemble of Villa Musica, where they have worked with such influential mentors as Günther Pichler, the Artemis Quartett, and the Julliard String Quartet.