Very little is known about Georges Guilhaud other than he was born in 1851, and composed for the oboe. He was a friend of Georges Gillet, Professor of Oboe at the Paris Conservatoire from 1882 until 1920. His Premier Concertino, dedicated to Gillet was selected as the pièce de concours on three occasions.
The three pieces were not written at the same time, Polonaise was written in June 1885 and is a longer composition than the other two, Madrigal and Andante Religieux which were written in June 1887. To my knowledge these pieces have not been published and all performance marks are those of the composer.
Many of his compositions, including these pieces, were dedicated to Monsieur Gillet. The Quatre Pièces – Berceuse, Allemande, Romance and Farandole were originally written for Oboe and Piano and published in two suites.
The Berceuse is a cradle song, beginning with a steady rocking rhythm developing into a lovely melodic section with a more fluid accompaniment before returning to the steady rocking motion again.
Allemande is a short piece in a Germanic style, several contrasting sections ending with a flourish.
Romance has a beautiful melody, carefully interwoven with piano accompaniment. The middle section shows the versatility of the instrument before a recapitulation of the first theme ending with the soloist providing and accompaniment for the piano.
The Farandole was an open chain community dance popular in the Provence region of France. Men and women joined hands and wound their way through the streets. The music is energetic and inspired by the farandole rather than a dance movement.