Magazine article Gramophone

Franck * Poulenc * Saint-Saens: Franck Violin Sonata Poulenc Violin Sonata

Magazine article Gramophone

Franck * Poulenc * Saint-Saens: Franck Violin Sonata Poulenc Violin Sonata

Article excerpt

Franck * Poulenc * Saint-Saens

Franck Violin Sonata Poulenc Violin Sonata

Saint-Saens Violin Sonata No 1, Op 75

Guillaume Combet vn Sandra Carlock pf

Somm (F) SOMMCD0169 (76' * DDD)

'Frankly no good': Poulenc's verdict on his only Violin Sonata was damning, but there's no reason why we have to accept it. Written during the Second World War and dedicated to the memory of Lorca, it's actually a work of considerable originality, in which the darkness of its subject (and perhaps Poulenc's own dislike of the medium) constantly challenges and undercuts the composer's instinctive craftsmanship and wit. Its ambiguities grow more fascinating with repeated hearings.

So it's good to find it here: a more imaginative coupling for the Franck Sonata than the usual Faure. In fact, it's the highlight of the disc. The American-based Carlock-Combet duo has all the qualities necessary for this repertoire: Combet's violin tone is rich and fluid, and Sandra Carlock commands a generous palette of keyboard colours, while Somm's recording captures the piano sound, in particular, with realism and warmth. …

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