Charles & Frédéric-Nicolas Duvernoy: Clarinet Chamber Music

Charles & Frédéric-Nicolas Duvernoy: Clarinet Chamber Music
Composer Frédéric-Nicolas Duvernoy, Jacques Georges Charles Duvernoy
Artist Luigi Magistrelli clarinet
Italian Classical Consort
Format 1 CD
Cat. number 96853
EAN code 5028421968537
Release March 2024

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About this release

There is scarce information available on Charles Duvernoy – not to be confused with Jean Baptiste Duvernoy (1802–1880), a French composer and pianist of the later romantic period, author of many studies and didactical works for piano. Charles was born in Montbéliard, France, and began clarinet studies in Strasbourg while playing in a military band. In 1790 he moved to Paris where he improved his playing – first as a member of the National Guard Band along with his brother, hornist Frédéric-Nicolas, and then achieving the posts of principal clarinet with the orchestra of the Monsieur Theatre and then the Feydeau Theatre of Saint-Germain, a position he held until 1824. He was also a professor at the Conservatory of Paris from 1800–02 and from 1808–16.

The Quartet No.1 is an unpretentious but enjoyable composition with well-conceived themes in all three movements and strong connections to the classical Viennese period. The 3 Themes and Variations employ simple themes with an introduction (in a minor key for No.1 and 2) before developing them in five variations (No.1 & 2) and three variations (No.3). The two Airs varies (chosen from the 6 Airs varies) were also conceived in theme and variations form. The style is purely classical and resembles other Airs (or Sonatas) written by French composers such as Lefevre, Devienne or Buteaux. Originally written for C clarinet and bass, this recording uses a B flat clarinet and basset horn for a better timbral match. For authentic colour, the clarinet is an early, original Lefevre six-key boxwood instrument from the early 19th century.

Frédéric-Nicolas’s Trio No.1 is the work of a virtuoso hornist. In 1788 he went to Paris and joined the Orchestre de la Comédie italienne. Two years later he became hornist of the Orchestre de la Guarde National and later was a professor at the Paris Conservatory, where he served until 1815. He also played in the Orchestre de l’Opéra de Paris from 1796–1817. He left a great number of horn pieces including 12 horn concertos, trios, nocturnes, quintets, etc. The Trio recorded here features a well-developed first movement and a second movement consisting of a short theme with four carefree variations ending in a brilliant coda. The horn is substituted with the more velvety, nasal colour of the basset horn, creating a new, interesting timbral combination.

Other information:
- Recorded in Ticino and Cesano Maderno, Italy.
- Booklet in English contains liner notes by the soloist and profiles of the soloist and the ensemble.

- Charles Duvernoy (1763-1845) was born in Montbéliard, France. He started to study clarinet in Strasbourg meanwhile playing in a military band. In 1790 he moved to Paris where he improved his playing, while joining, as did his brother hornist Frédéric-Nicolas, the National Guard Band. Later he became principal clarinet in the orchestra of the De Monsieur Theatre as well as at the Feydeau Theatre of Saint-Germain, where he kept this position until 1824. He was also a professor of the Conservatory of Paris between 1800-1802 and 1808-1816.
- Duvernoy wrote mainly for his own instrument, the clarinet, which was becoming increasingly popular, gaining a strong position in the orchestra and chamber music.
- This new recording presents a Clarinet Quartet and several variation cycles. As a bonus we hear a Clarinet Trio by his brother Frédéric-Nicolas. The music is highly enjoyable, melodious and brilliantly written for the instruments.
- Charles Duvernoy is not to be confused with Jean Baptiste Duvernoy (1802-1880), French composer and pianist of the romantic period, who wrote plenty of studies and didactical works for piano.
- Played by The Italian Consort and Luigi Magistrelli, one of the foremost clarinet players of Italy. He made many recordings for Brilliant Classics with works by C.P.E. Bach (95307), Giuliani (95541), Kummer (94472), Archduke Rudolph (94952), Rebay (94171) and Fuchs (96305). ‘Luigi Magistrelli is a skilled artist, with the fingers and the enthusiasm for Weber.’ Gramophone.

Track list

Disk 1

  1. Jacques Georges Charles Duvernoy: Quartet No. 1 : I. Allegro vivace
  2. Jacques Georges Charles Duvernoy: Quartet No. 1: II. Lento
  3. Jacques Georges Charles Duvernoy: Quartet No. 1: III. Valzer
  4. Jacques Georges Charles Duvernoy: Theme and Variations No. 2
  5. Jacques Georges Charles Duvernoy: Theme and Variations No. 1
  6. Jacques Georges Charles Duvernoy: Theme and Variations No. 3
  7. Jacques Georges Charles Duvernoy: Two Airs Varies: I. Airs de tarare
  8. Jacques Georges Charles Duvernoy: Two Airs Varies: II. Allegretto
  9. Frédéric-Nicolas Duvernoy: Trio No. 1: I. Allegro
  10. Frédéric-Nicolas Duvernoy: Trio No. 1: II. Andante con variazioni