Author Topic: Gabriel Fauré (Faure)  (Read 70248 times)

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Offline aligreto

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Re: Gabriel Fauré (Faure)
« Reply #340 on: August 11, 2021, 11:43:57 PM »
Fauré: Sonata for Cello & Piano No. 2:

This composition is a somewhat curious juxtaposition of both the robust and the poignant. There is certainly no lack of musical ideas and the work sounds fresh and buoyant in the outer movements with, perhaps understandably and given ill health, that later life contemplation of mortality in the atmospheric and elegiac central slow movement. The cello sings along throughout the work but, for me, the attraction for me is in the writing for the piano lines. It is ebullient in the outer movements. The music is always lyrical and very engaging.
The music of the first movement is propelled along by the constant drive of the piano lines. The tone of the music of the cello voice in the opening movement is contemplative and meditative, if not quite melancholy.
The intensity of tone in the slow movement is wonderful. I find the steady accompaniment of the piano to be reminiscent of a funeral march, which, of course in its original conception and iteration, it was.
The tone of the final movement is quite upbeat, ebullient and optimistic. Once again, I find that the piano lines dictate and determine the energy and drive of the music; it is its powerhouse.
The final movement is always energetic, sometimes exuberant and it concludes with terrific drive and excitement, particularly those flurries in the piano line.
It is better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak and leave no doubt.

Offline aligreto

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Re: Gabriel Fauré (Faure)
« Reply #341 on: August 11, 2021, 11:45:02 PM »
Faure: Sonata for Cello & Piano No. 2 [Igloi/Benson]





Benson’s playing is sparkling in the first movement. I am not a fan of the playing of the cello line here by Igloi. I find it somewhat lacking in emotion and fluidity and lacking the requisite presence, perhaps. It does not help that the cello sounds very dry in this recording, particularly in the higher register notes; an issue that I do not perceive with the piano. These aspects of the recording are particularly noticeable in the slow movement where the voice of the cello is more prominent. The piano lines in the final movement dictate everything and, once again, Benson excels.
It is better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak and leave no doubt.

Offline aligreto

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Re: Gabriel Fauré (Faure)
« Reply #342 on: August 11, 2021, 11:46:05 PM »
Faure: Sonata for Cello & Piano No. 2 [P. Tortellier/Heidsieck]





The first thing that I notice, comparatively, is the vivid presence of the cellist Tortellier. His efforts in this recording are superior to that of Igloi, to my ear. Tortellier’s presence is very apparent from the outset and equal with that of the pianist. The cello playing is ardent, assertive and intense. The slow movement is not lacking in emotional delivery; the performance is engaging but not, however, compelling. Once again, I am not fully satisfied with the recorded sound of the cello. It sounds dry to my ears. Heidsieck does more than very well on the piano but Benson has set the interpretative benchmark for me and it is not surpassed here despite a very good performance by Heidsieck. Heidsieck’s performance in the final movement is superlative, however. It is buoyant and assertive.
It is better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak and leave no doubt.

Offline aligreto

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Re: Gabriel Fauré (Faure)
« Reply #343 on: August 11, 2021, 11:48:14 PM »
Faure: Sonata for Cello & Piano No. 2 [Isserlis/Devoyon]





The first thing that I notice, comparatively, is how lyrical this presentation of the first movement is by both musicians and yet also how intense it is at the same time. There is a wonderful underlying tension throughout the movement. This is created by the dichotomy of the free flowing, somewhat upbeat tone of the piano line under that intense cello line. The slow movement is an ardent performance; it smoulders with a quiet intensity and  plaintiveness. It is never overly melancholy but rather poignant and profound with the added edge of that intensity. Devoyon’s pianism is often very subtle and understated but is always very present in the recording. This is a truly a wonderful interpretation and presentation. There is a wonderful conversation going on between the instrumentalists in the final movement; a real earnest discussion in places. It is very exciting and engaging.
It is better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak and leave no doubt.

Offline aligreto

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Re: Gabriel Fauré (Faure)
« Reply #344 on: August 11, 2021, 11:49:04 PM »
Faure: Sonata for Cello & Piano No. 2 [Bruns/Ishay]





From the opening notes this presentation sounds different, comparatively speaking. It is a bit of a jolt but in a good way, for me. It is so because it is played on two period instruments. The piano is an Érard, a favoured instrument by Faure apparently. That will no doubt mean something to those with a greater ear than mine [but I must say that it does sound wonderful]. The sonorities and presentation of both instruments sound very different to what has gone before in this comparison. The wonderful slow movement is where these two instruments really shine and come into their own and they are wonderfully balanced in a very natural sounding recording. It is a very attractive performance. The final movement is a very exciting performance and both instrumentalists contribute to this sense of adventure. It is a fitting conclusion to a compelling performance. In the notes the performers draw attention to Fauré’s insistence on rhythmic playing with minimal rubato which they adhere to, particularly on the piano. This lends a different and interesting perspective to the phrasing of the music which, in turn, gives a different and interesting flavour to this interesting and exciting presentation. 
It is better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak and leave no doubt.

Offline Madiel

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Re: Gabriel Fauré (Faure)
« Reply #345 on: August 12, 2021, 02:43:11 AM »
I don't think I've ever done comparative listening to that degree. I have Tortelier/Heidsieck but I don't love those performances... I think I have a problem with Heidsieck, though if you look back somewhere on this forum you'll find where I initially thought it was Tortelier!

Anyway, like my other Faure chamber music I ended up with the Hyperion label:

I am now working on a discography of the works of Vagn Holmboe. Please visit and also contribute!

Online North Star

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Re: Gabriel Fauré (Faure)
« Reply #346 on: August 12, 2021, 06:08:42 AM »
Ophélia Gaillard's recording of the cello works is wonderful, finding a physical copy might be difficult.
<a href="https://www.youtube.com/v/v=_zZkGsdrfDY&amp;list=OLAK5uy_lbH4q9W8ZrC213s0PeUNm0uC0B-5h_smg" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer" class="bbc_link bbc_flash_disabled new_win">https://www.youtube.com/v/v=_zZkGsdrfDY&amp;list=OLAK5uy_lbH4q9W8ZrC213s0PeUNm0uC0B-5h_smg</a>
"Everything has beauty, but not everyone sees it." - Confucius

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Offline vers la flamme

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Re: Gabriel Fauré (Faure)
« Reply #347 on: August 12, 2021, 12:12:52 PM »
I have Tortelier/Hubeau as a cheap Apex reissue, also featuring the Debussy Cello Sonata. Love that disc. That Hyperion one looks nice though; that label has done a great job with Fauré.

Offline Spotted Horses

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Re: Gabriel Fauré (Faure)
« Reply #348 on: August 12, 2021, 05:07:51 PM »
Faure: Sonata for Cello & Piano No. 2 [Bruns/Ishay]





From the opening notes this presentation sounds different, comparatively speaking. It is a bit of a jolt but in a good way, for me. It is so because it is played on two period instruments. The piano is an Érard, a favoured instrument by Faure apparently. That will no doubt mean something to those with a greater ear than mine [but I must say that it does sound wonderful]. The sonorities and presentation of both instruments sound very different to what has gone before in this comparison. The wonderful slow movement is where these two instruments really shine and come into their own and they are wonderfully balanced in a very natural sounding recording. It is a very attractive performance. The final movement is a very exciting performance and both instrumentalists contribute to this sense of adventure. It is a fitting conclusion to a compelling performance. In the notes the performers draw attention to Fauré’s insistence on rhythmic playing with minimal rubato which they adhere to, particularly on the piano. This lends a different and interesting perspective to the phrasing of the music which, in turn, gives a different and interesting flavour to this interesting and exciting presentation.

This is really an exquisite disk, beautifully performed and the period instruments give the music a refreshing sound (and probably contribute to the difference in interpretation).

Another version I have recently enjoyed (more than Tortelier) was the Lodeon/Collard on EMI. (I found two mentions of the Tortelier/Heidsieck in my listening notes. It seems I only liked it the second time around.)
« Last Edit: August 12, 2021, 05:09:22 PM by Spotted Horses »

Offline Que

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Re: Gabriel Fauré (Faure)
« Reply #349 on: August 12, 2021, 11:47:11 PM »
Ophélia Gaillard's recording of the cello works is wonderful, finding a physical copy might be difficult.
<a href="https://www.youtube.com/v/v=_zZkGsdrfDY&amp;list=OLAK5uy_lbH4q9W8ZrC213s0PeUNm0uC0B-5h_smg" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer" class="bbc_link bbc_flash_disabled new_win">https://www.youtube.com/v/v=_zZkGsdrfDY&amp;list=OLAK5uy_lbH4q9W8ZrC213s0PeUNm0uC0B-5h_smg</a>

I am also very impressed by that one!  :) The best on modern instruments I've heard sofar. Gaillard is matched by a great pianist.

I need to check out the Bruns/Ishay, because I was definitely not so much impressed by the - to my knowledge - only other performance on period instruments:


« Last Edit: August 12, 2021, 11:49:23 PM by Que »