Bassoon part from Five Movements from "L’Almanach aux Images"

Cinq Pièces Brèves

Gabriel Grovlez arr. John Cook
9 minutes
Classical music

Five very attractive piano pieces by this pupil of Faure, arranged for Wind Quintet (flute doubles piccolo). Their total duration is roughly 9 minutes. Les Anes (the Donkeys) is perhaps the best-known movement from the suite, with eeyores a-plenty, but all 5 of the pieces are enjoyable for both performers and audiences, with a good variety of moods.

This suite is a selection from the eight pieces comprising Grovlez’s "Almanac of pictures", a set of intermediate level pianist-friendly miniatures, many of which have at times appeared on the Associated Board syllabus. Reminiscent of the Debussy preludes, although much less demanding pianistically, they charmingly utilise the early twentieth century French idiom. In the original each is preceded by a poem by Tristan Klingsor. The five pieces arranged here are:

  1. Les Marionettes (The Puppets) - the most eccentric of the movements, in my arrangement the piccolo features prominently
  2. Chanson de L’Escarpolette (Song of the Swing) - a miniature waltz in the manner of Ravel [02:34]
  3. Les Anes (The Donkeys) [03:40]
  4. Petites Litanies de Jésus (Little Prayers to Jesus) - exquisite hushed reverence [05:47]
  5. Chanson du Chasseur (Hunter’s Song) - a gallop to the finish, in 6/8 of course! [07:12]

([x:x] is the starting time for each item in the mp3)

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