French Violin Sonatas

French Violin Sonatas
Composer André Jolivet, Albert Roussel, César Auguste Franck, Claude Debussy, Camille Saint-Saëns, Darius Milhaud, Francis Poulenc, Gabriel Fauré, Guillaume Lekeu, Henry Vieuxtemps, Louise Farrenc, Maurice Ravel, Rhené Emmanuel Baton
Artist Various Artists
Format 7 CD
Cat. number 96549
EAN code 5028421965499
Release January 2022

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About this release

The works in this collection emerged from the genre of duo concertant initially conceived as showcases for the virtuosity of Nicolò Paganini and his successors in the Franco-Belgian school of violin playing, notably Henry Vieuxtemps. He and Louise Farrenc remain attractive outliers in the chronology of French violin sonatas, which began proper in 1877 with the first performance of Fauré’s First Sonata, followed in short order by comparably significant works by Saint-Saëns and Franck.
These three works considered together form a trinity linked by features which came to define the character of the French violin sonata as a genre over the next few decades: recitative-like sections, cyclical form, modal techniques and organ-like pedal points, especially in the piano part – all three composers having spent a good part of their career as titular organists at landmark churches in Paris.
A further spur to the flood of of violin sonatas from Paris during the first decades of the 20th century was the abundance of superb performers who had made Paris their home: foremost among them Pablo Sarasate, Eugène Ysaÿe, Georges Enescu and Jacques Thibaut. The Wagnerian shadow falling over works by Roussel and Lekeu is decisively dispelled by Debussy’s late and sinuous masterpiece, and then more radically by Ravel in the lazy, seductive Blues of his Sonata.
The collection evolves further with a bold Sonata of 1932 by André Jolivet, whose movement titles advertise his rejection of the classical forms honoured by previous rarities – not only Louise Farrenc but also Rhené-Emmanuel Bâton, who composed in a richly mystical but traditional idiom as an outlet for the creative urges accumulated and repressed like Mahler during his occupation as a conductor.
Nearly all the recordings are original Brilliant Classics releases, welcomed warmly on their first release and compiled here with a new booklet note to present the most complete available survey of French violin sonatas on record.
‘The First Violin Sonata opens with a vigorous dance-like movement that made me think of a showered and shaved Bartók Hun… the players seem comfortable and at home in these works.’ Fanfare (Rhené-Bâton)
‘A brilliant exposition of the composer’s masterful talent… Monteiro and Santos are the superior interpreters, greatly attuned to Lekeu’s long lines and haunting, borderline macabre atmosphere.’ Fanfare Lekeu)
‘The Italian musicians are fully in tune with the joyful spontaneity and vibrancy of this music. I earlier praised the versatility and fine musicianship of Mauro Tortorelli… Warmly recommended.’ Fanfare (Milhaud)

- A rich and extensive selection of violin sonatas written by French composers, mainly in the first half of the 20th century. The style develops from full blooded Romanticism of Franck, Saint-Saëns and Vieuxtemps, through the Impressionism of Debussy, Ravel and Roussel towards that typically French style, which is difficult to pigeonhole, of Fauré, Poulenc, Lekeu, and expressionists Milhaud and Jolivet, music brimming with charm, elegance, wit and joie de vivre.
- Performed by excellent violinists like Kristóf Baráti, Krysia Osostowicz, Mauro Tortorelli and pianists Klára Würtz, Angela Meluso, Susan Tomes and Matteo Fossi.

Listening

Track list

Disk 1

  1. Louise Farrenc: Variations concertantes sur une mélodie Suisse, Op. 20: I. Introduzione. Andante maestoso
  2. Louise Farrenc: Variations concertantes sur une mélodie Suisse, Op. 20: II. Tema. Andante
  3. Louise Farrenc: Variations concertantes sur une mélodie Suisse, Op. 20: III. Variation I. Più mosso
  4. Louise Farrenc: Variations concertantes sur une mélodie Suisse, Op. 20: IV. Variation II
  5. Louise Farrenc: Variations concertantes sur une mélodie Suisse, Op. 20: V. Variation II bis. Espressivo
  6. Louise Farrenc: Variations concertantes sur une mélodie Suisse, Op. 20: VI. Variation III. Brillante
  7. Louise Farrenc: Variations concertantes sur une mélodie Suisse, Op. 20: VII. Variation IV. Andante sostenuto
  8. Louise Farrenc: Variations concertantes sur une mélodie Suisse, Op. 20: VIII. Finale. Vivace
  9. Louise Farrenc: Violin Sonata No. 1, Op. 37: I. Largo-Allegro
  10. Louise Farrenc: Violin Sonata No. 1, Op. 37: II. Poco adagio
  11. Louise Farrenc: Violin Sonata No. 1, Op. 37: III. Finale. Allegro vivace
  12. Louise Farrenc: Violin Sonata No. 2 in A Major, Op. 39: I. Allegro grazioso
  13. Louise Farrenc: Violin Sonata No. 2 in A Major, Op. 39: II. Scherzo. Allegro
  14. Louise Farrenc: Violin Sonata No. 2 in A Major, Op. 39: III. Adagio
  15. Louise Farrenc: Violin Sonata No. 2 in A Major, Op. 39: IV Finale. Allegro

Disk 2

  1. Camille Saint-Saëns: Violin Sonata No. 1 in D Minor, Op. 75: I. Allegro agitato
  2. Camille Saint-Saëns: Violin Sonata No. 1 in D Minor, Op. 75: II. Adagio
  3. Camille Saint-Saëns: Violin Sonata No. 1 in D Minor, Op. 75: III. Allegretto moderato
  4. Camille Saint-Saëns: Violin Sonata No. 1 in D Minor, Op. 75: IV. Allegro molto
  5. Camille Saint-Saëns: Berceuse in B-Flat Major, Op. 38
  6. Camille Saint-Saëns: Violin Sonata No. 2 in E-Flat Major, Op. 102: I. Poco allegro più tosto moderato
  7. Camille Saint-Saëns: Violin Sonata No. 2 in E-Flat Major, Op. 102: II. Scherzo. Vivace
  8. Camille Saint-Saëns: Violin Sonata No. 2 in E-Flat Major, Op. 102: III. Andante
  9. Camille Saint-Saëns: Violin Sonata No. 2 in E-Flat Major, Op. 102: IV. Allegro grazioso, non presto
  10. Camille Saint-Saëns: Triptyque, Op. 136: I. Prémice
  11. Camille Saint-Saëns: Triptyque, Op. 136: II. Vision congolaise
  12. Camille Saint-Saëns: Triptyque, Op. 136: III. Joyeuseté

Disk 3

  1. Gabriel Fauré: Violin Sonata No. 1 in A Major, Op. 13: I. Allegro molto
  2. Gabriel Fauré: Violin Sonata No. 1 in A Major, Op. 13: II. Andante
  3. Gabriel Fauré: Violin Sonata No. 1 in A Major, Op. 13: III. Allegro vivo
  4. Gabriel Fauré: Violin Sonata No. 1 in A Major, Op. 13: IV. Allegro quasi presto
  5. Gabriel Fauré: Violin Sonata No. 2 in E Minor, Op. 108: I. Allegro non troppo
  6. Gabriel Fauré: Violin Sonata No. 2 in E Minor, Op. 108: II. Andante
  7. Gabriel Fauré: Violin Sonata No. 2 in E Minor, Op. 108: III. Allegro non troppo

Disk 4

  1. Claude Debussy: Violin Sonata, L.140: I. Allegro vivo
  2. Claude Debussy: Violin Sonata, L.140: II. Intermède, fantasque et léger
  3. Claude Debussy: Violin Sonata, L.140: III. Finale, très animé
  4. Maurice Ravel: Violin Sonata No. 2 in G Major, M.77: I. Allegretto
  5. Maurice Ravel: Violin Sonata No. 2 in G Major, M.77: II. Blues. Moderato
  6. Maurice Ravel: Violin Sonata No. 2 in G Major, M.77: III. Perpetuum mobile, allegro
  7. César Auguste Franck: Violin Sonata in A Major, FWV 8: I. Allegretto ben moderato
  8. César Auguste Franck: Violin Sonata in A Major, FWV 8: II. Allegro
  9. César Auguste Franck: Violin Sonata in A Major, FWV 8: III. Recitativo-Fantasia, ben moderato
  10. César Auguste Franck: Violin Sonata in A Major, FWV 8: IV. Allegretto poco mosso

Disk 5

  1. Guillaume Lekeu: Sonata for Violin and Piano in G Major: I. Très modéré
  2. Guillaume Lekeu: Sonata for Violin and Piano in G Major: II. Très lent
  3. Guillaume Lekeu: Sonata for Violin and Piano in G Major: III. Très animé
  4. Henry Vieuxtemps: Violin Sonata in D Major, Op. 12: I. Allegro assai
  5. Henry Vieuxtemps: Violin Sonata in D Major, Op. 12: II. Scherzo. Allegro vivace-Trio
  6. Henry Vieuxtemps: Violin Sonata in D Major, Op. 12: III. Largo non troppo
  7. Henry Vieuxtemps: Violin Sonata in D Major, Op. 12: IV. Rondo. Allegro gioioso

Disk 6

  1. Rhené Emmanuel Baton: Violin Sonata No. 1 in G Minor, Op. 24: I. Allegro non troppo – Allegro vivo assai
  2. Rhené Emmanuel Baton: Violin Sonata No. 1 in G Minor, Op. 24: II. Larghetto
  3. Rhené Emmanuel Baton: Violin Sonata No. 1 in G Minor, Op. 24: III. Allegro vivo
  4. Rhené Emmanuel Baton: Violin Sonata No. 2, Op. 46: I. Allegro comodo
  5. Albert Roussel: Sonata No. 1 in D Minor for Piano and Violin, Op. 11: I. Lent – Très animé – Lent
  6. Albert Roussel: Sonata No. 1 in D Minor for Piano and Violin, Op. 11: II. Assez animé – Très lent – Assez animé
  7. Albert Roussel: Sonata No. 1 in D Minor for Piano and Violin, Op. 11: III. Très animé – très modéré – Très animé

Disk 7

  1. Francis Poulenc: Sonata FP 119 for Violin and Piano: I. Allegro con fuoco
  2. Francis Poulenc: Sonata FP 119 for Violin and Piano: II. Intermezzo. Très lent et calme
  3. Francis Poulenc: Sonata FP 119 for Violin and Piano: III. Presto tragico
  4. Darius Milhaud: Violin Sonata No. 1, Op. 3: I. Lent et robuste – Animé
  5. Darius Milhaud: Violin Sonata No. 1, Op. 3: II. Très lent
  6. Darius Milhaud: Violin Sonata No. 1, Op. 3: III. Très rythmé, Joyeux
  7. Darius Milhaud: Violin Sonata No. 2, Op. 40: I. Pastoral
  8. Darius Milhaud: Violin Sonata No. 2, Op. 40: II. Vif
  9. Darius Milhaud: Violin Sonata No. 2, Op. 40: III. Très lent
  10. Darius Milhaud: Violin Sonata No. 2, Op. 40: IV. Très vif
  11. André Jolivet: Sonate for Violin & Piano: I. Ramassé
  12. André Jolivet: Sonate for Violin & Piano: II. Librement. Très lent
  13. André Jolivet: Sonate for Violin & Piano: III. Bousculé