Faure Archive

Life Force – Peter Moore, Trombone – Rubicon

Life Force – Peter Moore, Trombone – Rubicon

In a brilliantly clean recording featuring trombone and piano, Peter Moore and James Baillieu make beautiful music. Life Force — Peter Moore (trombone), James Baillieu (piano)—Rubicon Classics RCD1028—66:31, ****1/2 : The trombone speaks by amplifying the buzzing of the player’s lips into a small, diminutive cup. Notes are differentiated by either extending the length of tubing through which this vibration travels, or else by traversing the harmonic series, as a bugler does. Tone is changed by limiting the amount of air, or else, by re-directing the direction of the stream of air within the mouthpiece. Hearing a trombone without all the mechanical fuss that’s part of playing, from sloppy movement of the slide to imprecision in the focus of the lips within the mouthpiece, betrays the amateur from the professional. What I admired most about Peter Moore’s recital is his technical perfection and clarity. The recording is pristinely lucid to also capture the depth of feeling from pianist James Baillieu. Coupled here are two expert musicians. Moore made his mark at the age of 12 as the BBC’s Young musician of the year. He now plays for the London Symphony Orchestra, appointed at age 18. The recital is an eclectic […]

French Moments = Piano Trios by ROUSSEL, DEBUSSY, FAURE – Neave Trio – Chandos 

French Moments = Piano Trios by ROUSSEL, DEBUSSY, FAURE – Neave Trio – Chandos 

The Neave Trio bestows upon us three French piano trios that well define late Gallic Romanticism and its capacity for rare colors. French Moments = ROUSSEL: Piano Trio in E-flat Major, Op. 2; DEBUSSY: Piano Trio in G Major; FAURE: Piano Trio in D minor, Op. 120 – Neave Trio – Chandos CHAN 10996, 70:08 (6/1/18) [Distr. by Naxos] ****: Recorded 19-21 October 2017, the three piano trios offered by the Neave Trio—Anna Williams, violin; Mikhail Vesetov, cello; Eri Nakamura, piano—provide perfect vehicles to justify the etymology of the ensemble’s chosen title, since “Neave” derives from the Gaelic designation for “bright” and “radiant.” Of particular note, the 1902 Piano Trio in E-flat by Albert Roussel (1869-1937) will prove enchanting, given its striking colors and post-Franck harmonic syntax.  The opening movement—Modere, sans lenteur—though establishing a three-note pattern on the home key in a manner that suggests a sunrise, quickly gravitates into the active, chromatic harmony we associate with late French Romanticism. Roussel does demonstrate a melodic gift, occasionally in a martial spirit, and his cello likes to meander in dark hues. The recapitulation of this movement presents the themes in reverse. The influence of Cesar Franck makes itself felt in the […]

Beau Soir = FAURE: Violin Sonata; Berceuse; FRANCK: Violin Sonata; DEBUSSY : La file aux cheveux de lin; Beau soir – Kyung Wha Chung, violin/ Kevin Kenner, piano – Warner Classics

Beau Soir = FAURE: Violin Sonata; Berceuse; FRANCK: Violin Sonata; DEBUSSY : La file aux cheveux de lin; Beau soir – Kyung Wha Chung, violin/ Kevin Kenner, piano – Warner Classics

After a substantial hiatus from the recording studio, Korean virtuoso Kyung Wha Chung returns with a soulful program of Gallic music. Beau Soir = FAURE: Violin Sonata No. 1 in A Major, Op. 13; Berceuse, Op. 16; FRANCK: Violin Sonata in A Major; Panis angelicus (arr. Kenner); DEBUSSY (arr. Hartmann) : La file aux cheveux de lin; Beau soir – Kyung Wha Chung, violin/ Kevin Kenner, piano – Warner Classics 0190295708085, 64:13 (3/23/18) [warnerclassics.com] ****:  Recorded 31 October and 7 November 2017, this recital from the UK bears a dedication to Kyung Wha Chung’s concert manager of forty years, Yukio Izumi, whom she remembers for “his passionate and constant dedication to music.”  Chung opens with a tastefully passionate account of Faure’s 1878 Violin Sonata No. 1 in A Major, the work that announced—said Camille Saint-Saens—Faure’s having become a master. The piece bears the imprimatur of the Faure style: alternately austere and measured, it offers refined temperament, heightened melodic ardor, and the unmistakable harmonic syntax that defines his especial sonic elegance. The ardent first movement Allegro molto proceeds in a modified sonata-form, rife with broken octaves and sudden crescendos in both parts. Besides asking the piano to intone the first melody […]

Tribute to Charles Munch – A Strasburger in Boston = Works of BERLIOZ, FRANCK, ST.-SAENS, ROUSSEL, DEBUSSY, FAURE, RAVEL – Praga Digitals

Tribute to Charles Munch – A Strasburger in Boston = Works of BERLIOZ, FRANCK, ST.-SAENS, ROUSSEL, DEBUSSY, FAURE, RAVEL – Praga Digitals

A generous sampling of the ‘Munch touch’ in Boston in the French music he championed.  Tribute to Charles Munch – A Strasburger in Boston = BERLIOZ: Romeo et Juliette Symphonie – Queen Mab Scherzo; FRANCK: Le Chasseur Maudit; SAINT-SAENS: La Princesse Jaune Overture, Op 30; Le Rouet d’Omphale. Op. 31; DEBUSSY: Fetes fr. Trois Nocturnes; FAURE: Penelope Prelude; RAVEL: La Valse; ROUSSEL: Suite in F Major – Boston Sym. Orch./ Charles Munch – Praga Digitals PRD 250 340, 80:17 (12/9/16) [Distr. by Harmonia mundi/PIAS] ****: The wizardry of Charles Munch and the Boston Symphony in French repertory finds eloquent representation on this extensive program, from various discs originally recorded 1951-1961 for RCA Victor. Particularly endearing, we have the 15 January 1951 recording of the Saint-Saens 1872 Overture La Princesse Jaune (on LM 1701), a one-act opera that utilizes pentatonic scales to suggest the courtly life of Japan in a dream-vision, although Netherlands provides the setting of the drama. The BSO achieves a lithe, entirely flexible vocal line and resplendently transparent hues, including an amazing bottom and top line in the full complement of strings.  No less brisk, the symphonic poem Le Rouet d’Omphale, (1871) invokes the mythological enslavement of Hercules […]

OLIVIER LATRY: Voyages – (Organ transcriptions) – Olivier Latry, organ – Erato/ Warner Classics

OLIVIER LATRY: Voyages – (Organ transcriptions) – Olivier Latry, organ – Erato/ Warner Classics

OLIVIER LATRY: Voyages – (Organ transcriptions) – Olivier Latry, organ – Erato/ Rhino Warner Classics 0190295888503, 78:31 (1/20/17) **1/2: Good recording of a rather mundane program. “Voyages” is the first album to be recorded on the new organ of the Paris Philharmonie. Voyages contains 11 famous pieces – ranging from BACH to KHACHATURIAN By way of MENDELSSOHN, CHOPIN, LISZT, WAGNER, SAINT-SAËNS, RIMSKY-KORSAKOV, FAURÉ, DEBUSSY and DE FALLA – it showcases both the ‘symphonic’ capacities of the new organ and the artistry of leading French organist Olivier Latry. Paris’s magnificent new concert hall, the Philharmonie, opened in January 2015, but its massive organ – which has over 6000 pipes and 91 different stops and weighs more than 25 tons – was not inaugurated until early 2016. This CD, Voyages, containing short pieces transcribed for organ, is the first to be recorded on the new instrument. From the CD it’s clear this is a fine instrument. The low end is palpable, and the microphone is set back to give a sense of the acoustic space. I would have preferred the extended range of an SACD, but the CD rendering holds its own. Larry is a fine organist. A native of northern France, […]

“MASTERPIECES IN MINIATURE” Works of LITOLFF, MAHLER, DELIBES, DVORAK, DELIUS, GRIEG & others – SF Sym./MTT – SF Media

“MASTERPIECES IN MINIATURE” Works of LITOLFF, MAHLER, DELIBES, DVORAK, DELIUS, GRIEG & others – SF Sym./MTT – SF Media

Classical gems vividly played and beautifully recorded. “MASTERPIECES IN MINIATURE” = LITOLFF: Scherzo from Con. symphonique No. 4; MAHLER: Blumine; FAURE: Pavane; DEBUSSY: La Plus que lente; SCHUBERT: Entr’acte No. 3 from Rosamunde; IVES/BRANT: The Alcotts from A Concord Symphony; RACHMANINOFF: Vocalise, Op. 34, No. 14; DVORAK: Legend for Orchestra, Op. 59, No. 6; SIBELIUS: Valse triste; DELIUS: On Hearing the First Cuckoo in Spring; GRIEG: The Last Spring, Opus 34, No. 2; DELIBES: Cortege de Bacchus from Sylvia—Yuja Wang, piano/SF Sym./Michael Tilson Thomas – multichannel SACD, SFMedia 821936-0060-2, 78:08, *****: What’s the role of the symphony orchestra in the 21st century? “It’s a preserve for endangered emotions, such as wistfulness,” answered Michael Tilson Thomas, the Music Director of the San Francisco Symphony, in an interview at the 2015 Music Critics Conference of North America. Masterpieces in Miniature is a disc loaded with emotions that music is uniquely qualified to express: the exhilarating speed of a virtuosic performance; sensuous refinement; nostalgic memories; lush romanticism; a remorseful farewell to life, to name a few. This album celebrates MTT’s 70th birthday and the twentieth anniversary of his tenure as conductor of the San Francisco Symphony. Its inspiration derives from his earliest memories […]

Seunghee Lee, “Embrace” – music for clarinet and piano – Seunghee Lee, clar./Evan Solomon, p. – Summit

Seunghee Lee, “Embrace” – music for clarinet and piano – Seunghee Lee, clar./Evan Solomon, p. – Summit

Seunghee Lee, “Embrace” – music for clarinet and piano [TrackList follows] – Seunghee Lee, clar./Evan Solomon, p. – Summit DCD577, TT: 50:26, (11/08/11) ***: Lovely and mostly rewarding collection of “easy listening” clarinet. Korean born Seunghee Lee is a very refined and talented artist with a pleasant tone and facile technique. There is much to admire in her playing and in looking at her training resume this is not a surprise. Lee grew up in Chicago and studied with many of the country’s great clarinetists including David Shifrin, Charles Neidich, George Silfies and John Bruce Yeh, to name but a few. Her accompanist Evan Solomon has a similar pedigree, having accompanied violinist Sarah Chang. Solomon also has a degree in mathematics and has served on the accompanying staff of the Julliard School since 1986. Ms. Lee has several other recordings out that I think are well worth investigating. As I said, her playing is lovely and rather “recital ready” as her tone and technique are very fine indeed and chamber music focused. This collection is made up of several short snippets of lovely and mostly non-flashy melodies from a variety of sources. These include many easily recognized tunes such as […]

RAVEL: Piano Con. in G Major; Piano Con. for the Left Hand; FAURE: Ballade in F-sharp Major – Yuja Wang, p./ Tonhalle Orch. Zurich/ Lionel Bringuier – DGG

RAVEL: Piano Con. in G Major; Piano Con. for the Left Hand; FAURE: Ballade in F-sharp Major – Yuja Wang, p./ Tonhalle Orch. Zurich/ Lionel Bringuier – DGG

Yuja Wang’s first “incursion” into French music proves explosive, lyrical and virtuosic, at once. RAVEL: Piano Concerto in G Major; Piano Concerto for the Left Hand in D Major; FAURE: Ballade in F-sharp Major for Piano Solo, Op. 19 – Yuja Wang, p./ Tonhalle Orch. Zurich/ Lionel Bringuier – DGG B00023931-02, 50:15 (10/9/15) [Distr. by Universal] ****:  Piano virtuoso Yuja Wang makes her first incursion into the French repertory, inscribing (April-May 2015) the brilliant Ravel concertos, whose jazzy éclat appeals to her flamboyant style. The Concerto in G represents a successful fusion of disparate elements: Mozart’s poise and clarity, Saint-Saens’ wit and digital verve, and a folk element likely traceable to Ravel’s Basque heritage.   At moments in the flurry of colors of the Allegramente first movement, we can detect blues riffs and the throes of Moorish Africa. Wang and Bringuier obviously relish the slow movement, Adagio assai, whose elegant waltz fuses Gershwin with Iberian sensibility in cross rhythm. The various woodwinds – English horn, flute, and oboe add their distinctive touches to a melodic curve that appears seamless, while in its compositional process Ravel remained at wit’s end to wring from his imagination. The jazz trombone and the symphony […]

FAURE: Violin Sonata No. 1 in A Major; R. STRAUSS: Violin Sonata in E-flat Major – Itzhak Perlman, v./ Emanuel Ax, p. – DGG

FAURE: Violin Sonata No. 1 in A Major; R. STRAUSS: Violin Sonata in E-flat Major – Itzhak Perlman, v./ Emanuel Ax, p. – DGG

For their first inscription together, Perlman and Ax gloriously collaborate in two works new to the Perlman legacy. FAURE: Violin Sonata No. 1 in A Major, Op. 13; R. STRAUSS: Violin Sonata in E-flat Major, Op. 18 – Itzhak Perlman, v./ Emanuel Ax, p. – DGG B0023611-02, 53:52 (8/28/15) [Distr. by Universal] ****:
 This recording (7-9 September 2014) represents a “debut” in several respects, since Perlman and Ax, having often appeared in recital, had never before made a recording together; and these sonatas represent major additions to the Perlman legacy. Given the seventieth-birthday acknowledgments for Itzhak Perlman, the disc maintains his reputation for tonal beauty and passionate involvement in the music he champions. The 1876 Sonata in A by Gabriel Faure marks – in the words of admirer Saint-Saens – “the [composer’s] unimagined audacity as something quite normal. With this work Monsieur Faure takes his place among the masters.” The writing for both participants proves quite demanding, rife with broken octaves and dynamics that swell up in expressive ardor. Ax sets the tone immediately, Allegro molto, with a fulsome statement of the main theme, itself redolent of lyric and sensuous power. Once Perlman enters, the sense of an elastic, ever-evolving […]