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Suite Française, Intermèdes and other orchestral works

/ Piano pieces
Orchestre de chambre de Nice • Jacques-Francis Manzone 
/ Yoko Sawai, piano

16-page booklet. Liner notes by Producer Clément Fontaine
Release: April 2, 2009

This DCM Classique release features a remastered version of a 1989 recording produced in France by BNL. The Orchestre de chambre de Nice conducted by Jacques-Francis Manzone performs four orchestral works by the great Maurice Jaubert, a precursor of Maurice Jarre, Georges Delerue.  All this classical music program is derived from film scores or has been used subsequently in movies.

Hence director François Truffaut used Suite Française for the soundtrack to the psychological drama The Story of Adèle H, starring Isabelle Adjani as Victor Hugo's obsessed daughter. Intermèdes was also used by Truffaut for another movie of the seventies, the tragic comedy The Man Who Loved Women, starring Charles Denner. 

Le Petit Chaperon Rouge (The Little Red Riding Hood), a burlesque suite for twelve instruments, is an exact replica for concert of the original soundtrack to the Albert Cavalcanti’s eponymous movie The waltz  Carnet de bal is the main theme from the Julien Duvivier's nostaligic film telling a widow's quest for her very first dance partners.

The two last works can also be found on a previous DCM release, Georges Delerue conducts the Film Music of Maurice Jaubert, The more recent studio version by the Manzone offers a comparable rendition but with a better sound quality. The same remark applies to the versions heard in the Truffaut movies, which were conducted by Patrice Mestral. To complete the program, Canadian Yoko Sawai plays some pîano pieces by Jaubert. 


Suite Française

01  Préambule et Pastourelle 5:49

02  Air 4:10

03  Valse intermède 1:41

04  Ronde 2:25



05  Ouverture et Forlane 3:17

06  Musique de nuit 3:19
07  Chaconne et Gigue 3:51


Le Petit Chaperon Rouge 
08  Ouverture - Allegretto 1:34

09  Préambule et Polka 1:42

10  La Java du Loup 1:16

11  Valse de la Bicyclette 2:00

12  Musette 1:30

13  Récitatif et Quadrille  3:26

14  Pantomime 2:53

15  Moto Perpetuo, Galop  4:10

16  Valse du Carnet de bal  3:32


Piano pieces  
Danses extraites du film Quatorze Juillet

17  À Paris dans chaque faubourg 1:36

18  One-Step 1:15
19  Valse-complainte 1:45
20  Java 1:02

21  Galop 1:20

22  Invention n° 2  0:52
23  Invention n° 4  0:45
24  Invention n° 5  2:05


TT 58:18

This is the second DCM CD of Maurice Jaubert’s film scores that I’ve reviewed (see Fanfare 32:1). The music displays the same periodic inclination to the Baroque, the distinctive orchestration, the memorable lyricism, and the evocative spirit, now nostalgic, now ironic, of the French music hall of his day. The recording reminded me of the previous disc, which had an older but not grating sound, distant, vaguely clouded, but with instrumental timbres intact. In addition to selections from the film scores, there’s a suite of short dances for piano, taken from Rene Clair’s movie Quatorze Juillet , and three equally brief inventions. The Suite includes a “Java” in which I heard premonitions of Jules et Jim ’s famous theme, punctuated with brusque, rustic interruptions, and a poignant “Valse complainant,” as well as a march, or one-step as it’s called here. All five pieces are unassuming but affecting. It’s not clear whether the dances are heard in the film as is or whether they were later orchestrated. Inventions, of course, suggest Bach, and the first and third use his style of imitative counterpoint to evolve a piece out of small themes. The third, rather slow and meditative, is most like Bach in sound. The first is more Jaubert than Bach, although the construction (canonic?) is Baroque, while the second is frisky, somewhat like Poulenc in its bouncy exuberance. Jaubert was a seminal figure in French film music—Delerue and Jarre are often named as his most prominent “disciples”—and François Truffaut held him in such regard that he set Adele H. to music Jaubert had written 30 years before. While this release should be of special interest to collectors of French film scores, the average listener, too, will no doubt enjoy this continuing homage to an intriguing composer.

- Robert Schulslaper,  Fanfare - 18 March 2010

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