Magazine article Gramophone

'French Cello Sonatas, Vol 2'

Magazine article Gramophone

'French Cello Sonatas, Vol 2'

Article excerpt

'French Cello Sonatas, Vol 2' Faure Berceuse, Op 16. Elegie, Op 24. Romance, Op 69. Trois Romances sans paroles. Op 17 Franck Cello (Violin) Sonata Saint-Saens Cello Sonata No 2, Op 123 Julian Steckel VC Paul Rivinius pf AVI-MusiC (F) AVI8553314 (75' * DDD)

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Julian Steckel and Paul Rivinius's 2011 release of cello-piano works by Faure, Poulenc, Debussy and Boulanger was a vividly programmed combination of styles written within a relatively short period; and although this second chapter provides a similarly varied and interesting programme, the range of sound itself is not as varied here as it was there. Whereas there was a pleasing contrast between the almost quixotic Debussy and the more robust Poulenc in Vol 1, here the Faure and Franck both retain a certain level of robustness that can result in a relendessness that appears early on. There is a searing edge to the cello sound that, although appealing, can become uncompromising in the ebb and flow of phrases that don't vary with each return of repeated musical motifs--particularly in the in the Franck Sonata, reworked from the violin version, whose occasionally caustic characteristics vary very little from the ease and kindliness of the Faure Romance that immediately follows it. …

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