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22 June 2024
Charles Koechlin: Les Chants de Nectaire - Second Series, Op.199

Nicola Woodward (Flute)

"Nectaire raised his flute to his lips, a simple wooden pipe that he could have made himself. He began to play; strange phrases at first, then rich melodies over which trills shone like diamonds and pearls on velvet. The music was full of grace and audacity, one could hear all at once the sound of nightingales and muses; all of nature and all of mankind."

The Chants de Nectaire were inspired by the wise old flute player Nectaire who appears in La Revolte des Anges by Anatole France (1914). The ninety six gems were composed by Charles Koechlin over four months in 1945. Despite the speed the quality is incredible with great attention to detail; each piece is its own unique sound world, imaginative, sensitive, beautiful and above all, sincere.

Charles Koechlin (1867-1950) studied at the École Polytechnique but tuburculosis prevented him from following a military career. And so fortunately he turned to music, studying with Fauré and Massenet. He worked incredibly quickly when inspired and his output covers all genres from the vast orchestral work La Loi de la Jungle (inspired by Kipling), to choral, chamber and solo works. He favoured the flute and seemed to understand the subtleties as if he played himself. According to Koechlin, his personality was dominated by characteristics from his Alsatian roots; an energy, naivety and an absolute sincerity that lie at the heart of all his music.


Charles Koechlin: Les Chants de Nectaire Second Series, Op.199: 32 pieces, Dans la Forêt Antique

I. L'ombre, par une fraîche matinée de printemps

II. La claire forêt

III. Jeux dans la clairière

IV. Le Bois Sacré

V. Le bruissement des feuilles

VI. Boire à l'ombre, en été

VII. Danse de nymphes, au soleil

VIII. Jeaux de Naïades

IX. Fraîcheur des beaux matins de la montagne

X. Le chevrier

XI. Danse de Faunes

XII. "Mollesque sub arbore somni…."

XIII. La mer aux bruits innombrables

XIV. Endymion, berger

XV. Le Satyre

XVI. "Majoresque cadunt altis de montibus umbrae"

XVII. Caprice du Faune

XVIII. Sur la mort d'un chat

XIX. Pureté du matin sur la grève

XX. L' "Heureux petit Berger"

XXI. Calme du soir

XXII. Brise fraîche du matin sur la met

XXIII. "O fortunatos nimium…agricolas"

XXIV. Soir lumineux

XXV. Gaîté du printemps dans la forêt

XXVI. "Tityre, Tu patulae recubans sub tegmine fagi"

XXVII. Danses dans la forêt

XXVIII. "At secura quies…"

XXIX. "Formosi pecoris custos, formosior ipse"

XXX. Les oiseaux sont ivres…

XXXI. Silène

XXXII. Pour le cortège de Dionysos

Recorded in Clifton Cathedral, Bristol
Booklet design: Lesley Lee
Recording Engineering & Production: Richard Jeffrey-Gray
Total Time: 71.24
Release Date: September 2020

Nicola Woodward (flute)Nicola Woodward was awarded exhibition scholarships on both flute and piano at the Royal College of Music. She also won the Eve Kisch flute prize and several prizes for all-round musicianship. She has performed at the Wigmore Hall, the Purcell Rooms, given live broadcasts on Classic FM and BBC Radio 3, worked with the LPO and Bournemouth Orchestras and toured Latin America for the British Council. As part of a flute and marimba duo, she toured extensively with ‘Live Music Now!’ and is now involved with the scheme as a mentor. She frequently performed at Highgrove and Buckingham Palace for HRH the Prince of Wales and has made several recordings of rare and folk-influenced works. Nicola has a deep love of folk music from many cultures, which she regularly performs. She is co-founder of the Rockhampton Festival.

Website     YouTube Channel

HS 190205     View Booklet

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