Benjamin Godard

Suite de trois morceaux in B flat major for flute & piano (or orchestra), Op. 116

    Description by James Leonard

    Although he achieved fame early in his career and maintained a certain level of popularity during his lifetime, the majority of music by French composer Benjamin Godard (1849-1895) has not retained its place in the repertoire. Indeed, with the exception of one piece of chamber music, all that is still performed and recorded of Godard's vast output are slivers of his slighter piano music. But that one piece of chamber music, the Suite de trois morceaux, is still immensely popular and will probably always be popular as long as there are virtuoso flutists and a competent pianist to accompany them. A short work in three movements -- "Allegretto," "Idyll," and "Valse." -- the suite is musique de salon de la Belle Époque, par excellence. Composed in 1890 for the great French flutist Paul Taffanel, the suite is elegantly tuneful, deeply nostalgic, and, in its final "Valse," incredibly virtuosic. While salon music is not nearly as popular as it once was, the lost world of salon music is brilliantly evoked by Godard's suite. The Suite de trois morceaux also exists in a version for flute and chamber orchestra.

    Parts/Movements

    1. Allegretto
    2. Idylle
    3. Valse

    Appears On

    Year Title Label Catalog #
    2016 CPO 5550442
    2013 Diversions DDV 24156
    2011 Motette CD20361
    2009 Gallo 1267
    2007 BIS 1639
    2007 Avie 2131
    2005 Vanguard 1616
    2000 Claves 502009
    2000 Classico 319
    1997 Vanguard 8089
    1996 ASV 2102
    1993 ASV/Living Era 652
    1992 Chandos 8840
    Black Box Classics 1049
    Titanic 191
    Conifer 51905