Franck: Violin Sonata & Chausson: Concert

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Franck: Violin Sonata & Chausson: Concert


Presto Disc of the Week

19th May 2017

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Release date:

19th May 2017




67 minutes


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Franck: Violin Sonata & Chausson: Concert


Concert in D major for piano, violin and string quartet, Op. 21

Salagon Quartet

Franck, C:

Violin Sonata in A major


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Read Presto's complete review of this disc here.

Regular chamber partners Isabelle Faust and Alexander Melnikov, playing on period instruments, shine new light on two major works of chamber music written at the dawn of the 20th century.

The 'Sonata' is Franck’s most frequently played and recorded work. Premiered by Eugène Ysaÿe, in Brussels on 16 December 1886, a judge as shrewd as Alfred Cortot was lucid enough to make an arrangement for solo piano. Since then it has been transcribed for nearly every instrument on the planet and is a permanent staple of the repertoire.

Although it is devoid of passages in double stopping or pizzicato, the violin part, replete with treacherous chromatic twists and turns, nonetheless poses formidable difficulties of intonation.

Franck's influence on Ernest Chausson's 'Concert' is unmistakable. A late-Romantic hybrid, the work blends elements of piano and string quintet styles and here regains a freshness which delicately illuminates, in the hands of Faust and Melnikov. Completed a year after the Symphony in B flat, and again written for Ysaÿe, the 'Concert' asserts its roots in the heritage of Rameau and Couperin, thus foreshadowing Debussy’s 'Hommage à Rameau' (1905) and Ravel’s 'Le Tombeau de Couperin' (1917).

César Franck: Sonata for Piano and Violin in A Major, FW 8

I. Allegro ben moderato

II. Allegro

III. Recitativo fantasia. Ben moderato

IV. Allegro poco mosso

Ernest Chausson: Concert for Violin, Piano and String Quartet in D Major, Op. 21

I. Décidé

II. Sicilienne

III. Grave

IV. Finale. Très animé

Gramophone Magazine

May 2017

“[Chausson] Faust and the quartet…conjures and maintains a spellbinding, moonlit atmosphere. [Franck] equally impressive…[Faust] finds intense expressivity in restraint and emotional directness.”

Presto Classical

James Longstaffe

19th May 2017

“Faust and Melnikov are utterly spellbinding. It might not be quite like any performance you’ve heard of the Franck sonata before, but that makes it all the more welcome; a genuine delight.”

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