Germaine Tailleferre (1892–1983) came of age in the explosively creative days of 1920s Paris. Well-known as the only female member of Les Six, the group of composers which included Darius Milhaud, Louis Durey, Georges Auric, Francis Poulenc, and Arthur Honegger, her circle of friends also included Charlie Chaplin, Picasso, Modigliani, Diaghilev, Ravel, Stravinsky, and Monteux. This recording features works originally for solo piano, as well as transcriptions and excerpts from ballets and film scores. The music spans 60 years and represents some of Tailleferre’s best and most significant work, some of it rarely played or recorded.
Praised by The Boston Globe as “a musical and expressive player” who is “sensitive and poetic, and excels in everything that requires elegance, proportion, balance, taste, and wit,” the award-winning Vietnamese American pianist Quynh Nguyen was named one of the “19 Young Stars of Tomorrow” by Musical America. She has performed extensively throughout the United States, Europe, and Asia, to wide critical acclaim. The Flower of France marks her debut recording on the Music & Arts label and her fourth commercial recording.
“The Flower of France—Germaine Tailleferre Works for Piano, offers a very generous helping of pieces by Les Six’s only female composer, performed with striking beauty by pianist Quynh Nguyen….Tailleferre emerges as a distinct voice among her Les Six companions, and a composer whose output is deserving of more attention than it has received. Sensitive, poetic, communicative playing abounds throughout.”
—Jerry Dubins, Fanfare, Nov/Dec 2023
“This is a disc that every lover of French music should have. The music is beguiling, delightful, and beautiful, and when played by Quynh Nguyen completely irresistible. Her playing is tasteful and always keeps in mind the intimacy and character that each of the pieces deserves.”
— Chris Wolf, Winnipeg’s Classical 107 Radio, July 2023
“Quynh Nguyen, who studied in Paris among other places, is familiar with the milieu of Tailleferre’s music, and she demonstrates affection and understanding for the music itself. She is especially good with the slower works. No nuance of the composer’s style escapes her in this sympathetic survey of fine music.”
—William Kreindler, MusicWeb International, December 2023
“A treasurable body of music, lovingly and effectively played by Quynh Nguyen who does the music proud, and this can be unreservedly recommended.”
—Alan Becker, American Record Guide, October 2023
“She is a real artist; a wonderfully communicative performer obviously intoxicated with the joy of living her music and sharing it with those lucky enough to hear it spring from her soul. What a compendium of intellect, sophistication and taste!”
—Harris Goldsmith, New York Concert Review
“Rarely does one hear a young artist with such a naturally flowing sense of melodic line – vivid and unforced – that permits the music to breath uninhibited. This flexible way of playing allows poetry and emotion to expand organically. Quynh Nguyen is already a major talent of the younger generation of keyboard artists, to be placed alongside Klara Wurtz and Irina Rees.”
—Benjamin Ivry, International Piano Magazine