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celebrating three hundred years of music by women


Claude Arrieu (1903-1990)

A prolific French composer, who studied at the Paris Conservatoire with Dukas, among others, taking first prize for composition in 1932. Her music had the ease of flow and elegance of structure that typified Parisian neo-classicism. While avoiding frivolity, she showed a delightful sense of humour. Vivacity, clarity of expression and a natural feel for melody were her hall marks. Her radio score Frederic General won a Prix Italia in 1949. Her music included several stage works, concertos and numerous wind chamber pieces.


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  • Trio Back to Contents
    Wind Dixtuor. 1967
    1. Allegretto moderato. 2. Moderato - Allegro scherzando - Andante - Tempo primo. 3. Andante - Allegro scherzando.
    2 fl, ob, 2 cl, 2 bn, hn, tpt, tbn
    The humerous first movement has slightly grotesque leaps in the main theme. An intermezzo quality characterises the outer sections of the second movement, around a brief scherzando. Next, a pastoral 6/8 precedes a bustling second scherzando. The singing wind writing is taken up again in the Cantabile, and the whole is rounded off with an energetic finale, which ends in a characteristicly french gesture - with surprising gentleness.
    Published by Gerard Billaudot, 14 rue de l'Echiquier, Paris 10ieme, France

    Back to Contents
    Wind Trio. 1936
    1. Allegro. 2. Pastorale et Scherzo. 3. Final. 9 mins
    Ob, cl, bn
    Arrieu was 33 when she wrote the Reed Trio; it was commissioned by the Trio D’Anches de Paris; Poulenc (1926), Milhaud (Suite d’après Michel Corrette, op 161, 1937) Ibert (1935), and Auric (1938) had also composed for them. However, her Trio shows the care she took with the part writing, sharing the material equally between the three instruments. The opening Allegretto ritmico is a swaggering mock march, with contrasting, nostalgic episodes. Initially the Pastorale et Scherzo is tender and swaying; the 3-time continues, faster and cheekily, and includes its own ‘middle section’. The Final, Allègrement, emulates the military manner, even in 3-time; then comes a ‘proper’, 4-time, steadier parade. Her wittiness is mischievous, producing teasingly foiled expectations in a mildly anarchic manner.

    Published by Amphion Editions. Ambache CD recording on Liberté, Egalité, Sororité. it can be bought on Ambache Recordings Liberté, Egalité, Sororité.


    Wood-Wind Quintet: Billaudot Edition. Also: Nocturne (ob/pf), and La Fête (cl/pf) on Billaudot.
    Flute Sonatine on Editions Durand. L'eau vive (SATB) Editions Durand.

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