Thursday, May 18, 2017

Gabriel Fauré - Violin Sonatas (Isabelle Faust; Florent Boffard)


Composer: Gabriel Fauré
  1. Violin Sonata No. 1 in A major, Op. 13: 1. Allegro molto
  2. Violin Sonata No. 1 in A major, Op. 13: 2. Andante
  3. Violin Sonata No. 1 in A major, Op. 13: 3. Allegro vivo
  4. Violin Sonata No. 1 in A major, Op. 13: 4. Allegro quasi presto
  5. Violin Sonata No. 2 in E minor, Op. 108: 1. Allegro non troppo
  6. Violin Sonata No. 2 in E minor, Op. 108: 2. Andante
  7. Violin Sonata No. 2 in E minor, Op. 108: 3. Final, Allegro non troppo
  8. Berceuse in D major, Op. 16
  9. Romance in B flat major, Op. 28
  10. Andante in B flat major, Op. 75
  11. Morceau de lecture

Isabelle Faust, violin
Florent Boffard, piano
Date: 2008
Label: Harmonia Mundi!/albums/1269




Fauré’s music for violin and piano links both ends of the composer’s long career, from the early A major sonata’s lyric beauty and wry playfulness to the strange, bleak harmonic refinement and terse polyphony characterizing the aged master’s second work in this genre. Both the Romance and Andante typify the mature Fauré’s refined, concentrated style, while the salonish charm of the Berceuse refuses to fade. Violinist Isabelle Faust turns in stunning performances that are meticulously detailed yet full of headlong passion, soaring long lines, and bigness of conception. Notice, in the A major’s finale, her subtle dynamic gradations and ripe, unaffected tone quality, or the richness of her sustained notes on the D and G strings in the E minor’s first movement.

Faust, moreover, is clearly inspired by pianist Florent Boffard’s affirmative, uplifting support, especially in his rock-solid, shapely bass lines and the opulent, organ-like, utterly unbanging tone he evokes from the concert grand. If you prefer more intimate, translucent Fauré, Grumiaux is still your first choice. But it’s hard not to get swept away by Faust and Boffard’s large-scaled, generous artistry, bathed in ample but not overly resonant sonics. A very special release, not to be missed.

-- Jed Distler, ClassicsToday

More reviews:
BBC Music Magazine  PERFORMANCE: ***** / SOUND: *****


Gabriel Fauré (12 May 1845 – 4 November 1924) was a French composer, organist, pianist and teacher. He was one of the foremost French composers of his generation, and his musical style influenced many 20th-century composers. Among his best-known works are his Pavane, Requiem, nocturnes for piano and the songs "Après un rêve" and "Clair de lune". Fauré composed many of his most highly regarded works in his later years, in a more harmonically and melodically complex style. His music has been described as linking the end of Romanticism with 20th century modernism.


Isabelle Faust (born 1972 in Esslingen) is a German violinist. She trained with Christoph Poppen and Dénes Zsigmondy. She won First Prize in the 1993 Paganini Competition in Genoa, Italy. Since 1996, she has performed on the "Sleeping Beauty" Stradivarius violin of 1704, on loan from Landesbank Baden-Württemberg. Faust has performed as guest soloist with most of the world's major orchestras and won multiple awards for her recordings, mostly on Harmonia Mundi.


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