Notes and Editorial Reviews
I have never understood why in the first half of the 20th century the French didn't take their entire avant-garde and dump the whole lot of them next door in Darmstadt or some such place, the better to enjoy such neglected figures as Bréville or Canteloube. Certainly no country except Germany has been more dismissive of the talents of its own conservative but well trained and exceedingly polished school of late Romantic composers. Under the circumstances then, this disc represents a welcome addition to the catalog. Pierre de Bréville (1861-1949), to the extent he's known at all, is remembered as a songwriter, but this epic (37-minute) Violin Sonata places him squarely in the school of Franck, Chausson, and above all, Magnard.
Its four big movements have a symphonic weight, though the instrumental writing is typically French in its easy fluency and melodic appeal (the second subject of the first movement is particularly luscious).
Cantaloube's Suite: Dans la montagne also has four movements: En plein vent, Le soir, Jour de fête, and Dans le bois au printemps. Although a very early work dating from around the turn of the last century, the folk-tinged Festival Day clearly foreshadows the Songs of the Auvergne, while the opening of the last movement is pure Debussy (of the Préludes). Both works are beautifully played by Philippe Graffin and Pascal Devoyon, with only two small caveats. In the Bréville, Graffin's vibrato in high positions has a tendency to cloy (at least in my opinion), and both players could have attacked the work with a broader range of dynamic contrasts. On the other hand their intimate approach, with the recording balance slightly favoring the violin, perfectly suits the more delicate Cantaloube. In any event, fans of French music from this period will need no further recommendation from me. A beautiful disc.
--David Hurwitz, ClassicsToday.com Read less
Works on This Recording
Dans la montagne by Joseph Canteloube
Philippe Graffin (Violin),
Pascal Devoyon (Piano)
Period: 20th Century
Notes: Composition written: France (1904 - 1905).
Be the first to review this title