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Franck; Debussy; Ravel: French Violin Sonatas
Format: Audio CDChange
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
This disc, very well recorded in 1985, was well regarded upon its original release and at the reduced re-issue price it makes for a wonderfully tempting purchase.

The three works make a very attractive and logical coupling, as they bring together the three outstanding French sonatas of their time. The Franck, the work of a mature composer towards the end of his composing life is dated 1886, the Debussy sonata from 1917 was his last completed work and Ravel's sonata of 1927, while not being his last work, is still one of his mature years.

Beyond those considerations the three works inhabit very different worlds from each other. The Ravel piece is by far the most 'abstract' in its musical considerations while the Franck offers a deeply Romantic vision. The Debussy sonata inhabits a world somewhere in between with its impressionist form of expression.

The performances given by Mintz and Bronfman are exquisitely drawn with clearer lines and less heaviness than is often heard with other artists. Those who are familiar with Mintz's equally exquisite and finely drawn disc of the Prokofiev violin concertos recorded with Abbado will immediately know what is meant by that description. Nothing is overstated but every detail is there to be heard and makes full impact. Rather like make use of a sabre rather than a two-handed double edged sword to make an analogy.

Of the various performances heard of these three works over many years it is to this disc that I would most return for the most perceptive and rewarding musical experiences.

As such I would strongly suggest that this disc deserves serious consideration from both those looking for a single disc survey and for collectors interested in alternative interpretations.
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