£16 post free World-wide

 


555 sonatas 9Cds mp3 files
Only £22


 


Benjamin: Written on Skin £16

Search
What's New
Previous CDs
Concerts
Jazz
Nostalgia
Composers
Resources
Announce
Labels index


Every day we post 10 new Classical CD and DVD reviews. A free weekly summary is available by e-mail. MusicWeb is not a subscription site. To keep it free please purchase discs through our links.

  Classical Editor Rob Barnett    



RECORDING OF THE MONTH

Gabriel FAURÉ (1845-1924)
Cello Sonatas 1, op. 109 (1917) and 2, op. 117 (1921), Elégie, op. 24 (1880)
Claude DEBUSSY (1862-1918)

Cello Sonata (1915)
Paul Tortelier (cello), Jean Hubeau (piano)
Locations and dates not given
WARNER CLASSICS Elatus 0927-49012-2 [55í 04"]

Error processing SSI file



BUY NOW 

Crotchet   AmazonUK   AmazonUS

On a date which must have been only a few years after the making of this disc I was an impressionable schoolboy sitting literally at the great manís feet (first or second row with the stage towering above me) at a recital in what was then called Ashford High School (Kent) which included one of the Fauré sonatas. Performers of this calibre didnít often come to Ashford and I was quite mesmerised. Tortelier was one of those performers you really have to see to get the full force of his magnetic personality; his whole body seemed to communicate his love of the music and his desire to get it across to the public. Before the performance he delighted us with a little speech in his rapid, voluble and very French-sounding English in which he showed us (with the pianist Geoffrey Pratleyís help) how Fauré used the "Tristan-chord" during the sonata.

While some performers in the "you really have to see them" category can disappoint when heard cold on disc, records show that Tortelierís communicative abilities were grounded on a perfect technique and a very high level of musicianship, while his passionate commitment emerges from the loudspeakers just as clearly as it did in the concert hall. With Jean Hubeau a fine partner it would be impossible to imagine finer performances of this music.

Late Fauré can seem austere beside his younger self (the much earlier Elégie obviously comes from the same delicately perfumed plant as "Après un rêve") but in Tortelierís hands these sonatas emerge glowing with humanity. If we remember how some of Debussyís first piano pieces inhabit much the same world as Fauréís, we can only marvel at how far apart the two had travelled by the time of their late cello sonatas. Tortelier is master of the wide range of moods which Debussyís pithy little masterpiece encompasses, from infinite sadness to fierce exultation, and again reveals the humanity of a work which can seem more elusive in other hands.

The only information we get about this recording is that it was published by Erato in 1962; the Fauré pieces were issued in Great Britain by World Record Club in 1967. Though it obviously hasnít quite the bloom of the best 2002 products it is really very good indeed for its age. The booklet has a good note in three languages. An indispensable disc.

Christopher Howell


Return to Index

Untitled Document


Reviews from previous months
Join the mailing list and receive a hyperlinked weekly update on the discs reviewed. details
We welcome feedback on our reviews. Please use the Bulletin Board
Please paste in the first line of your comments the URL of the review to which you refer.