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The award-winning vocal ensemble I Fagiolini is best known for its work in music from much earlier periods than that appearing on this generously filled disc. To celebrate I Fagiolini’s 30th anniversary Robert Hollingsworth has compiled a programme of familiar and unfamiliar 20th-century French music which, in addition to including many of the usual suspects, incorporates two premieres: an amusing ‘hommage’ to French gastronomy by Jean Françaix, and Roderick Williams’s arrangement of the Adagio from Ravel’s Piano Concerto in which he incorporates words by Baudelaire and Rimbaud. Characteristic Gallic colour and ambience are on display throughout this well-chosen programme of short pieces – Amuse-bouche is an apt title – in which I Fagiolini are joined by pianist Anna Markland who contributes three of Satie’s celebrated Gnossiennes. The recorded sound will be a little too close for some tastes, but the sensuous delights of this music in such idiomatic readings are surely for everyone.

PHILIP REED Read the full review on Agora Classica


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