One of the most grown-up review sites around

55,946 reviews
and more.. and still writing ...

Search MusicWeb Here


International mailing

Founder: Len Mullenger                                    Editor in Chief:John Quinn             

Some items
to consider


paid for

3 for 2 Offer

All Forgotten Records Reviews


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

FOGHORN Classics

Mozart Brahms
Clarinet Quintets
All Foghorn Reviews

Puertas de Madrid
All EMEC reviews
All EMEC reviews

All Reference Recordings

Eugène Ysaÿe: Violin Discoveries
All Divine Art Reviews

Debussy Complete Preludes



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
Seen & Heard
Editor Emeritus
   Bill Kenny
MusicWeb Webmaster
   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
Ph. 020 8418 0616


Support us financially by purchasing
this through MusicWeb
for £15.50 postage paid world-wide.

René de BOISDEFFRE (1838-1906)
Trois pieces pittoresques for cello and piano, Op. 93 [11:24]
Six pieces for cello and piano, Op. 15 (c.1870) [12:55]
Cello Sonata, Op.63 (c.1894) [30:12]
Élévation for cello and piano (or organ), Op. 48 (1892) [3:26]
Deux Morceaux for cello and piano, Op. 51 (1892) [8:42]
Suite for cello and piano. Op.56 (1892-93) [9:10]
Luca Fiorentini (cello), Jakub Tchorzewski (piano)
rec. 2018, BlowOutStudio, Trevio, Italy

As this label’s previous discs have so amply demonstrated, the pretty much forgotten René de Boisdeffre had pronounced gifts for melodic beauty. This wasn’t lost on instrumentalists of old and the pioneering and popular American violinist Maud Powell recorded one of the Frenchman’s morceaux in the very early years of the twentieth century. Yet the occasional recording was not enough and it’s taken the concerted dedication of Acte Préalable to bring his music to the table once more in a series of discs of which this is the latest.

The spirit of delight hangs over all the cello pieces in this recital. The Sonata was composed around 1894 and is in four standard movements. He doesn’t really nod to, say, Saint-Saëns or to Fauré; rather, the piano writing cleaves quite closely to Schumann’s example in the long first movement and advances the claims of well-structured sonata form, whilst elsewhere the aims are those of warm lyricism in the Andante, jovial confidence in the scherzo, and boldness in the finale. The slightly earlier Suite, Op.56 has three movements; a quietly melancholy Lied showing his talent for memorable compression of themes, a charming salon-styled and colourful Berceuse, and a fresh-faced Scherzo.

Each of the pieces in the disc has merit. The very approachable Trois pièeces pittoresques, for example, evokes a nature triptych, with a light landscape scene followed by a flowing Sur la plage and a sensuous Barcarolle with tellingly lovely themes. A composer with a seemingly inexhaustible supply of lyricism up his sleeve, the four surviving pieces of the Six Pièces have a full complement of characterisation – plangent lyricism, rhythmic vitality but also the funereal bell chimes of the Adagietto.

There is also Élévation for cello and piano (or organ), a romance sans paroles, in effect, and finally the two Morceaux, Op.51. The first of these is slightly Fauréan, or as close to Fauré as de Boisdeffre came, and the second a correspondingly jovial and boldly self-confident Chant d’automne.
The booklet production, in its standard red livery, is attractively done and the cover artwork, a dappled Corot, has been perceptively selected. The performances are generous, expressive and thoroughly convincing – another milestone in the exploration of this warm-hearted composer’s representation on disc.

Jonathan Woolf

Advertising on

Donate and keep us afloat


New Releases

Naxos Classical
All Naxos reviews

All Chandos reviews

All Hyperion reviews

All Foghorn reviews

All Troubadisc reviews

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

All Eloquence reviews

All Lyrita Reviews


Obtain 10% discount

Recordings of the Month


Donizetti - Le Convenienze ed Inconvenienze Teatrali

Chamber Symphonies 2 & 4

French Cello Concertos