Notes and Editorial Reviews
In their performance of César Franck's Violin Sonata, Pierre Amoyal and Pascal Rogé have taken to heart the composer's dictum that a composition "should be musical, and emotional as well." The musicians lay on the feeling quite thick, especially in the seductive first movement where Rogé exhibits even more emotion than Amoyal, whose violin playing is unabashedly heart-on-sleeve. It's all done in good taste, and naturally in the style of the piece itself, however the players mostly impress through their impeccable musicianship and confident virtuosity.
Franck reverses the proportions in his String Quartet, and as it's based in the classical tradition, the themes serve the music's motivic structure
first and stimulate the emotions second. So, while you'll find little of the D minor symphony's swooning here, there's a sustained classical rigor and a bracing rhythmic energy throughout. There's also emotion of course, but its shades are painted in cooler colors, with the resulting combination being quite affecting and, in the finale especially, pointing the way to early Debussy.
The Fitzwilliam Quartet realizes all of this in a powerful and stimulating performance, where you can sense the passionate commitment of all four musicians. The remastered Decca recordings offer solid presence and wide dynamics, although the sonata features more spacious acoustics. Eloquence's presentation and pricing makes this CD an attractive proposition.
--Victor Carr Jr, ClassicsToday.com
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