Herrmann: Souvenirs de voyage; Tredici: Magyar Madness / Lethiec, Fine Arts Quartet

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The iciness and drama of his great film scores contrasts powerfully with the reserved and lyrical beauty of Bernard Herrmann’s chamber music. Souvenir de Voyage was his final concert work, each of the three movements having roots in a different work of art – A.E. Houseman’s On Wenlock Edge, Synge’s novel Riders to the Sea and the Venetian watercolours of J.M.W. Turner. This rhythmically sinuous clarinet quintet is both vivid and graceful. David Del Tredici’s Magyar Madness fuses ardency with playful wit, its long finale a vast and wild ‘Hungarian frenzy’.


Written in 1967, Herrmann's Souvenirs de Voyage for clarinet quintet was his final concert composition, and it's a beauty. Clarinetist Michel Lethiec prefers tonal variety to uniformity, and he is not afraid to bring an occasional astringent edge to a curvaceous melody or extra heft to low sustained notes in support of string solos.

By way of stylistic contrast, David Del Tredici's brand of hyper-romanticism holds nothing back. Magyar Madness's first movement serves up heaps of counterpoint, accelerated repeat phrases, wild runs, and Richard Straussian harmonic tricks. Overall however, he deftly balances the work by providing enough moments of calm before each successive storm.

-- Gramophone

Product Description:

  • Release Date: November 11, 2016

  • Catalog Number: 8559796

  • UPC: 636943979624

  • Label: Naxos

  • Number of Discs: 1

  • Period: 20th Century

  • Composer: Bernard Herrmann, David Del Tredici

  • Orchestra/Ensemble: Fine Arts Quartet

  • Performer: Michel Lethiec


  1. Souvenirs de voyage

    Composer: Bernard Herrmann

    Ensemble: Fine Arts Quartet

    Performer: Michel Lethiec (Clarinet)

  2. Magyar Madness

    Composer: David Del Tredici

    Ensemble: Fine Arts Quartet

    Performer: Michel Lethiec (Clarinet)