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LE FLEM, Paul (1881-1984)


  • Giorgio Koukl, piano

Paul Le Flem belonged to the Parisian circle of Martinu, Tcherepnin and Tansman, summing up his own music as a fusion of three influences: his native Brittany, Debussy and D’Indy. His career was sadly interrupted by World War I, but the intense poetry of his earlier works reflect the ever-changing land and seascapes of Brittany, and the variety of its mysteries and legends from the lighthearted to the disquieting. Of special note among the première recordings on this album are the atonal Pour la main droite, the wartime Mélancolie with its opening and perhaps ironic quotation from La Marseillaise, and Les Korrigans, a waltz inspired by the Korrigan, a magical creature in Breton folklore.



Avril (1910) (00:06:20)
Vieux calvaire (1910) (00:05:19)
Par landes (1907) (00:05:11)
Par grèves (1907) (00:09:11)
Le chant des genêts (1910) (00:11:00 )
No. 1. Entrée des binious (00:01:55)
No. 2. Vers le soir (00:01:57)
No. 3. Autour d'un conte (00:03:55)
No. 4. Pour bercer (00:02:27)
No. 5. Ronde (00:00:56)
7 Pièces enfantines (1912) (00:10:00 )
No. 1. Prière (00:01:02)
No. 2. Bastions de sable (00:01:42)
No. 3. Après gronderie (00:01:39)
No. 4. Chatteries (00:01:47)
No. 5. La veille mendiante (00:01:19)
No. 6. La chapelle (00:01:14)
No. 7. Les bigoudens (00:01:03)
Les Korrigans, "Valse Bretonne" (1896) * (00:04:01)
Pour la main droite (1961) * (00:01:52)
Mélancolie! () * (00:03:08)
Éponine et Sabinius (arr. G. Koukl) (1897) * (00:08:16)
Pavane de Mademoiselle (Style Louis XIV) (version for piano) () * (00:02:19)
Sommes-nous défendus: Émotions (version for piano) (1939) * (00:01:43)
* World Première Recording
Total Time: 01:08:16

The Artist

Giorgio Koukl is a pianist/harpsichordist and composer. He was born in Prague in 1953, and studied there at the State Music School and Conservatory. He continued his studies at both the Conservatories of Zürich and Milan, where he took part in the masterclasses of Nikita Magaloff, Jacques Février, and Stanislaus Neuhaus, and with Rudolf Firkušný, friend and advocate of Czech composer Bohuslav Martinů.

The Composer

Of Breton origin, Paul Le Flem studied at the Schola Cantorum under Vincent d’Indy and Roussel, later teaching at the same establishment, where his pupils included Satie and Jolivet. His music is strongly influenced by his native Brittany, the landscape of which is reflected in his work.

Stage Music

Le Flem dramatic works include the operas Le rossignol de St-Malo (‘The Nightingale of St Malo’) and La magicienne de la mer (‘The Magician of the Sea’), as well as the chante-fable Aucassin et Nicolette.

Orchestral Music

In addition to his symphonies, Le Flem wrote evocative orchestral music such as En mer (‘At Sea’) and La voix du large (‘The Voice of the Open Sea’).

Vocal Music

Le Flem set texts by Verlaine and others and arranged for chorus a number of Breton folk-songs.


“The booklet notes are excellent, performances everything you could hope for in obscure music, and the piano sound is up to Grand Piano’s established high standards.” – American Record Guide

“Imagining a better advocate for the piano music of Le Flem is impossible. It brings a great benefit to listen how Giorgio Koukl captures the music of this French composer. …the pianist generates a stupendous and delicate feeling for the shimmering nuances…” – Piano News

“This is piano music at its finest, which gives enormous pleasure to hear and makes me curious on his symphonic work or his songs. Neither his name or music is known! But such discoveries is one of the most beautiful possibilities of the CD medium.” – The New Listener

“Core repertoire is of course highly important and fresh approaches to interpretation of all the familiar compositions is always welcome but how refreshing it is to be introduced to someone as interesting yet almost totally unknown as Paul le Flem. I urge you to listen to this captivating music so brilliantly played.” – MusicWeb International


“The playing of the Czech pianist [Koukl], already heard in...Tchérepnine (Grand Piano), shines by its whimsy and its contrast...Marvelous.” – Diapason