I was a bit disappointed with Korcia's Fauré. The overall approach is close to Mintz' (Violin Sonatas), and not only because Korcia also takes the first movement repeat. It also has to do with the fact that he takes the lyrical second theme as an invitation to relax (3:47), forgetting the lesson of Thibaud and Cortot: move on, don't let the forward momentum and tension sag (Debussy, Faure and Franck). Luisada plays with admirable clarity of articulation, but, compared to the storm unleashed by the fingers of Jean-Philippe Collard (with Augustin Dumay, Fauré: Musique de Chambre, Vol. 1), he sounds relatively tame. Consequently Korcia's first movement lacks a touch of sweeping élan, and his violin tone also doesn't quite have the warmth of Mintz or Dumay. In the second movement he establishes a nice mood, first brooding then elegiac, but again he remains a bit placid in the climaxes, more lyrical than passionate or dramatic. Though Korcia and Luisada's scherzo is again similar to the second in tempo to Mintz and Bronfman, they convey more an impression of momentum and light-footed bounce, thanks to Luisada's marvellous lightness of touch and Korcia's more nimble bowing, and clearer recording. Yet they are no match to Dumay-Collard, Grumiaux-Crossley (Faure: Violin Sonatas Op. 13 & Op. 108/Frank or French & Belgian Violin Sonatas) or Bell-Thibaudet (Violin Sonatas or Chausson: Concert; Ravel: Piano Trio; Fauré, Debussy, Franck: Violin Sonatas), especially because again they slow down and let tension sag in the middle trio section. Likewise, despite a few passionate moments, their Finale is so laid-back and gentle as to veer on the sentimental. Where is the sweep and passion and turbulence of Thibaud or Dumay? It takes Korcia and Luisada 5:33 to get through; Thibaud and Cortot needed only 4:35, and Dumay-Collard 4:54. It changes the character of the music substantially, and not for the better, I find. Elegiac might be OK for the later Fauré, the composer of the second Sonata. Fauré's debt to Schumann in Op. 13 has often been remarked, but you won't hear it here.
On the other hand Korcia offers a great Franck Sonata. His first movement is one of the most spacious I have heard but his fine control over dynamics and awesome fortes in the climaxes dispel any impression of dragging. Strangely, the two partners hurl into movements two and three without marking any pause. Their second movement has plenty of drive, and Luisada is remarkable for his precise articulation and sparse pedalling - the best of "toucher à la française", and the same is true with the finale. Also in the second movement Korcia favors extremes, taking the "poco più lento" at 2:02 MOLTO più lento - I don't find it the best option, but I have not qualms with it either (Perlman did the same with Askhenazy in 1968, Franck/Brahms: Violin Sonata/Horn Trio). On the other hand the very slow tempo he takes at 1:29 in the second movement seems entirely justified by Franck's "Molto lento" indication, and Luisada sustains him with an appropriate massiveness, and they animate to fine dramatic intensity and fullness of tone as the movement unfolds. The finale is nicely animated, exuding a feeling of elated joy, and brought to climaxes of great intensity with fine Brahmsian muscularity from Luisada.
A mixed bag then, but Korcia is a young and promising violinist, with time to mature. The disc's presentation is close to inept, with inside "art" (overblown details of photos of Korica) that makes the notes illegible (black on black) - not that the four miserably short paragraphs deserve to be read. And why title the disc "Nos souvenirs" (our remembrances), after the arrangement of Chausson's fourth Melodie opus 8 (whose arrangement? We are not told): our remembrances of what exactly? "the music of this era secures its roles as an irresistible instrument of nostalgia", says the presentation pabulum. Right. What a gratuitous sales pitch, that presumably we owe to the disc's "executive producer", Olivier Cochet. As for the artist's biographic blurb (by an Olivier Bellamy), it is so laughable that it would deserve to be quoted complete. Whence you learn that "their family trees were both nurtured by the Mediterranean sun" (I guess that makes them ideal partners. One assumes it also qualifies them to play Fauré, who was born in Pamiers in south France near Spain, but how it makes them fit to play the Belgian Franck, I don't know. Why don't they stick to their genes?), that "in essence a dreamer, Lauren Korcia is a charming, secretive young man who conceals his life's blows and fears with smiling nonchalance" - what does his shrink have to say about that? And so on. Fortunately (despite my reservations on Fauré - despite the family trees!) the interpretations are better than that.