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Works for Cello

5.0 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews

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Audio CD, February 26, 2008
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Track Listings

Disc: 1

  1. Sonata for cello & piano No. 1 in D minor, Op. 109: Allegro
  2. Sonata for cello & piano No. 1 in D minor, Op. 109: Andante
  3. Sonata for cello & piano No. 1 in D minor, Op. 109: Finale
  4. Romance for cello & piano, Op. 69
  5. Papillon, for cello & piano, Op. 77
  6. Sonata for cello & piano No. 2 in G minor, Op. 117: Allegro
  7. Sonata for cello & piano No. 2 in G minor, Op. 117: Andante
  8. Sonata for cello & piano No. 2 in G minor, Op. 117: Allegro vivo
  9. Sicilienne, for cello & piano, Op. 78


Product Details

  • Performer: Ophelie Gaillard, Bruno Fontaine
  • Conductor: G. Faure
  • Audio CD (February 26, 2008)
  • SPARS Code: DDD
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Naive
  • ASIN: B000VPNK60
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #487,698 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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By J Scott Morrison HALL OF FAMETOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on May 18, 2008
Format: Audio CD
Fauré's musical fingerprints are so uniquely his that one can identify music as being by him even when one has never heard a particular piece before. Such was the case with the works on this CD of cello-and-piano music. One day I turned on the radio and heard the second movement of his First Sonata and knew immediately, although I'd never heard it before, that 'this has to be Fauré.' I listened through to the end of the sonata and realized that I wanted to own this CD by Ophélie Gaillard, cello, and Bruno Fontaine, piano. The disc contains both cello/piano sonatas and several of his salon pieces for cello with piano accompaniment. Indeed, it contains almost all of Fauré's music for this combination; the only thing missing is his Sérénade written for Casals. But it does include Casals' own arrangement of Fauré's beloved song 'Aprés un rêve.'

The First Sonata was written during the last year of World War I. The first movement is agitated and angular, the second is a meditative Andante whose melodic construction is vrai Fauré with long sinuous melodic tendrils that go on for paragraphs. The finale, written some months after the first two movements and when it appeared the war might be soon over, has the cello calm and reflective, generous in melodic warmth, while the piano accompaniment is, to borrow Eric Blom's word, murmuringly 'semiquaverish'. The Second Sonata, written in 1921 when Fauré was in his mid-seventies, evokes both calm and turbulent waters. The second movement was originally written as an occasional piece, 'Chant funéraire', used for the national French commemoration of the 100th anniversary of Napoleon's death.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
... and all the faded furnishings of my great-grandmother's salon. That's what I've been prone to associate with the music of Gabriel Fauré (1845-1924) and his contemporaries, especially his French contemporaries. In short, I've ignored him, even avoided him. I'm somewhat shame-faced to declare that I was unfair, though in my defense I have to say that there's a lot of music in the world, whole realms of music available to us, both performers and listeners, these days, and you can't hear it all.

I try to avoid reviewing music that I haven't performed myself, or at least heard often. This review will be an exception. I've never looked at a Fauré score or played a Fauré piece. Honestly, i'd never heard any of the pieces on this CD except the 'classical radio' favorite Sicilienne, adapted from Fauré's orchestral suite Pelleas et Melisande. Would it be presumptuous to suppose that many music lovers are as unfamiliar with the two sonatas for cello and piano as I have been? That Sicilienne has a haunting melodic beauty, but it isn't entirely characteristic of Fauré's chamber music. You might say it's "Fauré Lite", a far simpler and less challenging-to-hear composition than anything else on this CD. The two sonatas are dark intellectual beauties, intricate in counterpoint, subtle in harmonic modulation, less 'immediate' than the Sicilienne but more rewarding for repeated listenings.

Ordinarily a reviewer would be expected to offer some comparisons of the performance with other recorded performances. That I can't do. This is the only performance of these works that I've ever heard in any format.
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