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Faure: Cello Sonatas Nos. 1 & 2/ Elegies (Hyperion: CDA67872) [CD]

Alban Gerhardt , Cecile Licad , Gabriel Fauré , None Audio CD
3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
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Product details

  • Conductor: None
  • Composer: Gabriel Fauré
  • Audio CD (3 Jan 2012)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: CD
  • Label: Hyperion
  • ASIN: B0065OKYL0
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 174,888 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. Cello Sonata No 1 in D minor Op 109
2. Cello Sonata No 2 in G minor Op 117
3. Élégie Op 24
4. Romance Op 69
5. Papillon Op 77
6. Sérénade Op 98
7. Sicilienne Op 78
8. Allegro commodo

Product Description


Magnificent cello playing from Gerhardt,empathetically supportive accompaniments from Licad and a wonderfully natural and atmospheric recording to boot;asking for more would be just plain greedy. Recommended. --IRR,Jan'12

A gorgeous performance of the well-known Élégie comes as the first of the five encores on this magnificent disc devoted for the most part to Fauré's two cello sonatas, the D minor, composed in 1917, and the G minor from 1921. Both are late works, written when Fauré was in his seventies, the shorter pieces being sprinkled throughout his earlier creative life, with the Élégie dating from as far back as 1880. The passion and sorrowful rapture that Alban Gerhardt and Cecile Licad bring to the Élégie are complemented by the yearning ardour of a Romance, the virtuoso flutter and bustle of Papillon, the lyrical sweep of the Sérénade and the delicate lilt of the Sicilienne, which is also familiar in orchestral guise. This disc follows on from various other, highly distinguished recordings that Gerhardt has made for Hyperion of repertoire ranging from Alkan to Schnittke and Shostakovich, from Chopin to Prokofiev and Reger, and, most recently, of encores made famous by Pablo Casals (CDA67831), on which Gerhardt also teamed up with Licad. They make a particularly fine duo here, working emotionally in unison, sensing the music's contours with like mind, breathing as one. In the two sonatas, their polished phrasing and naturally articulated lines enhance the music s structural cohesion, their feeling for moments of drama and repose is held in ideal equilibrium, and their pointing up of Fauré s individual harmonic shading is judged instinctively. On the final track, Gerhardt and Licad repeat the finale of the D minor Sonata, but at a faster tempo. Indecision about Fauré's intended speed other than the marking Allegro commodo has arisen from the unreasonably slow indication printed in the first edition. Different speeds certainly give the movement different profiles, a further bonus on a thoroughly recommendable disc. ***** --Telegraph,13/01/12

Alban Gerhardt's account of Fauré's two cello sonatas, both late works, repay careful listening. Like the works themselves, his playing and that of the pianist Cecile Licad is full of subtleties, the half-tones and inflections that make the chamber music of Fauré's final decade so elusive and fragile. Nothing here is forced or made to conform; whether it's the urgent outpourings of the first movement of the D minor Sonata Op 109 or the utterly different slow movement of the G minor Op 117, the pacing seems perfectly natural, the colouring distinctive. It's typical of Gerhardt's thoughtfulness that after the collection of earlier cello-and-piano pieces (including the well-known Elégie), which follows the sonatas, he should repeat the last movement of the first sonata at a faster tempo. Cellists disagree about Fauré's intentions; there's no doubt that the faster speed makes the music more focused, though at some cost to its introspective poetry.**** --Guardian,19/01/12

Faure's Cello Sonatas are late works, characterised by long, highly charged sequences, lyrically static, but reaching strange heights of intensity.Both, therefore, are difficult to shape and need visionary performers-which, fortunately, we have here. One has a powerful sense of Cecile Licad and Alban Gerhardt's compelling grasp of architecture. Performance**** Recording***** --BBC Music Magazine,Mar'12

Gerhardt and Licad…sound free as air, intellectually confident, full of verve, with niceties of balance and intensities never an issue; a convincing frame of colour, movement and sound in every movement, every piece. May it win friends for some excellent and still undervalued music. GRAMOPHONE CHOICE --Gramophone,Apr'12

Hyperion's superb CD features the charismatic cellist Alban Gerhardt, whose playing has been described as breathtaking , sensitively accompanied by Cecile Licad, herself an outstanding solo pianist. --Delius Society Bulletin

Product Description

Sonates pour violoncelle n°1 et n°2 - Élégie, op.24 - Romance, op.69 - Papillon, op.77 - Sérénade, op.98 - Sicilienne, op.78 / Alban Gerhardt, violoncelle - Cecile Licad, piano

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
7 of 11 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Elegy over Energy 14 Jan 2012
By Entartete Musik TOP 1000 REVIEWER
Format:Audio CD
Album covers can be misleading. The Renoir landscape on the front of Hyperion's new Fauré Cello Sonatas disc should be the perfect fit. But its whirlpool of Côte d'Azur oils ignores the steelier tones of much of this music. Rather than languishing in an impressionistic haze, cellist Alban Gerhardt and pianist Cecile Licad are thrillingly direct in their performances. If only Fauré was up to such scrutiny.

The two cello sonatas, written just after the Great War, are pugnacious scores. Gerhardt and Licad launch into both with decidedly un-Gallic ferocity. This is music that claims to speak of its time, rather than a hazy remembrance of things past. But interest wanes during the endless cat and mouse games of the outer movements. Fauré is at home in the central elegies - it's not for nothing that the Requiem and the Pavane are his greatest legacies.

Even within the more reflective occasional pieces (all written before the War), Gerhardt and Licad remain wonderfully plainspoken. The Op. 24 Élégie may initially lack tenderness, but their performance hides a more bruised character. Papillon is a spirited piece of whimsy. If its tempo was pushed too far, the Sicilienne is a gloriously louche response. Collectively, these postcards offer a more three-dimensional listening experience.

And it's those pieces, of course, that readily subscribe to the Renoir idyll. Although Fauré piles on lush cadences at the end of the G minor sonata, he cannot bury the downright ordinary material at its core. Gerhardt and Licad deliver all these goods with palpable tension and technique, but the sonatas are sometimes over-exposed and consequently leave you longing for more Renoir.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Bought for a present and very appreciated 18 July 2014
By nieves
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
Very well played and valued
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 5.0 out of 5 stars  1 review
2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful! 3 May 2012
By gwen myers - Published on
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
This is a must buy! Beautiful, engaging, and a tribute to the pure professionalism of the artist Cecile Licad. A must for every collection!
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