MusicWeb International One of the most grown-up review sites around

 58,121 reviews
   and more ... and still writing ...

Search MusicWeb Here
Acte Prealable Polish CDs

Presto Music CD retailer
Founder: Len Mullenger                                    Editor in Chief:John Quinn             

Some items
to consider


paid for

Acte Prealable Polish recordings

Forgotten Recordings
Forgotten Recordings
All Forgotten Records Reviews

Troubadisc Weinberg- TROCD01450

100th birthday of Mieczyslaw Weinberg on December 8, 2019.
Renate Eggbrecht has recorded all 3 violin Sonatas
All Troubadisc reviews

FOGHORN Classics

Brahms String Quartets

All Foghorn Reviews

All HDTT reviews

Clarissa Bevilacqua plays
Augusta Read Thomas

all Nimbus reviews

Brahms Dvorak
Brahms 2 Dvorak 7
all tudor reviews



Follow us on Twitter

Subscribe to our free weekly review listing

Sample: See what you will get

Editorial Board
MusicWeb International
Founding Editor
Rob Barnett
Editor in Chief
John Quinn
Contributing Editor
Ralph Moore
   David Barker
Jonathan Woolf
MusicWeb Founder
   Len Mullenger


Discs for review may be sent to:
Jonathan Woolf
76 Lushes Road
Essex IG10 3QB
United Kingdom


REVIEW Plain text for smartphones & printers


Claude DEBUSSY (1862-1918)
Violin Sonata [12:22]
Maurice RAVEL (1875-1937)
Violin Sonata [15:54]
Ma Mère l’Oye [14:44]
Sonatine [11:36]
Michèle Auclair (violin)
Jacqueline Bonneau (piano)
Geneviève Joy (piano: l’Oye)
Marie-Thérèse Fourneau (piano: sonatine)
rec. 1955/57, Salle Adyar; Maison de la Mutualité, Paris

Michèle Auclair was born in Paris into a musical family, her father and grandfather being amateur musicians and painters. She took up the violin at the age of four. Line Talluel was her first teacher, who also taught the French violinist Ginette Neveu. She then went on to study at the Paris Conservatoire with Jules Boucherit, Jacques Thibaud and Boris Kamensky. In 1943 she was prize-winner of the first Marguerite Long–Jacques Thibaud competition; Samson François, a later close friend, won the piano prize. Then in 1946 she carried off the first prize in the Geneva International Competition. This propelled her onto the world stage and an international career beckoned. After the war, Auclair travelled to the USA for further studies - taken with Theodore and Alice Pashkus in New York. Theodore got her to do some recordings on the Remington label, produced by Don Gabor.  In the mid-sixties, she was involved in an automobile accident which put paid to her career as a soloist. She devoted the rest of her life to teaching and supporting young violinists both at the National Conservatory of Music in Paris (1969-1989) and at the New England Conservatory in Boston (1989-2002). She died in Paris on 10 June 2005, aged eighty.

On this disc she is partnered in the Debussy and Ravel Sonatas by Jacqueline Bonneau (1917-2007). Their musical collaborations began in 1956. Bonneau had studied with Lazare Levy and, whilst at the Paris Conservatoire, had been a contemporary of Paul Tortelier and Henri Dutilleux in the harmony class. Her concert career was launched in 1945, the same year that she formed a two-piano partnership with Geneviève Joy (1919-2009), who incidentally married Dutilleux in 1946. The other pianist featured on this release is Marie-Thérèse Fourneau (1927-2000). She studied at the Paris Conservatoire with Marguerite Long, Joseph Calvet and Jean Doyen, graduating with the Premier Prix de Piano in 1942. She won first prize in Geneva in 1946. Sadly, her career was cut short by multiple sclerosis.

It’s a pity that, in the two violin sonatas, the piano is too forwardly projected as this, to some extent, renders the violin tone somewhat less colourful, being positioned far back in the aural perspective. Nevertheless, these are animated performances, idiomatic and informed with resourcefulness and imagination. There’s real passion and fervour in the playing. In the Ravel, which to my mind is the more successful of the two in warmer sound, Auclair makes the blues movement jazzy and improvisatory, yet without sounding mannered. She throws all caution to the wind in a performance of vitality and élan. Throughout, rubato is well-judged and never sounds over the top.

Jacqueline Bonneau and Geneviève Joy get together for a scintillating reading of the four-hand version of Ravel’s Ma Mère l’Oye, bringing a quasi-orchestral sound to the proceedings. They have an instinctive feel for this music, successfully matching phrasing and dynamics. Ensemble between the players is impeccable. The way they bring out the playful aspects of the score is impressive, and the climax at the end of ‘Le jardin féerique’ is exhilarating.

This recording of the Ravel Sonatine has to be one of the finest on disc. Despite its age it is beautifully captured, with a favourable acoustic. I notice the venue isn’t identified by Forgotten Records. Fourneau, who I have never come across before, proves a persuasive advocate of this score. Nicely paced, the reading is idiomatic and elegant. The beguiling luminosity of her playing highlights the composer’s impressionistic harmonic colourings.

This is a very interesting and worthwhile collection. With top-class re-masterings, I do not hesitate in giving it my wholehearted endorsement.

Stephen Greenbank

Previous review: Jonathan Woolf



Advertising on

Donate and keep us afloat


New Releases

Naxos Classical
All Naxos reviews

Chandos recordings
All Chandos reviews

Hyperion recordings
All Hyperion reviews

Foghorn recordings
All Foghorn reviews

Troubadisc recordings
All Troubadisc reviews

all cpo reviews

Divine Art recordings
Click to see New Releases
Get 10% off using code musicweb10
All Divine Art reviews

All APR reviews

Lyrita recordings
All Lyrita Reviews


Wyastone New Releases
Obtain 10% discount

Recordings of the Month

November 2022
Bach Orchestral Suites

del Cinque
Del Cinque Cello sonatas

Fujita Mozart
Mao Fujita Mozart

Stanczyk Acousmatic Music


October 2022

Berg Violin Concerto
Violin Concerto Elmes

DEbussy Jeux
Debussy Jeux

Romantic pioano masters
Romantic Piano Masters

The future is female - Vol 2
Volume 2 - The Dance

impromptu harp music
Complete Harp Impromptus