Notes and Editorial Reviews
Piano Quintet. Violin Sonata
Philippe Entremont (pn); Aron Qrt; Dan Zhu (vn)
CASCAVELLE 3094 (63:56)
The Quintet is all vibrant surface, breathless élan, and bounding climaxes. That is, neither the clinging sensuousness of the Ader Ensemble’s account (Fuga Libera 509,
29:4), nor the sultry eroticism divined by Michaël Levinas and the Ludwig Quartet (Naxos 8.553645, Fanfare 22:1), is allowed to raise its serpentine head. It’s
all no-nonsense straightforwardness. If the upshot—for those who know the work and hear in it livid proof, so to speak, of Franck’s attachment to his pupil, the composer Augusta Holmès—is bowdlerized, the tradeoff is stark drama escalating in viscerally tingling coruscations which will keep you on the edge of your seat.
This simplicity takes on a limpid, crooning sweetness in the Violin Sonata, whose melodic wealth is suffused with sensuous confidences swinging easily from the languorous to the ecstatic, recalling the unforced fluency of the classic Francescatti/Casadesus performance (from 1947—still treasurable despite ferocious hiss, Sony 5033852) to suggest what it might be to say aloud, deftly and without inhibition, what one feels for one’s first love. Taken in a spacious acoustic environment, capture is well balanced and scintillantly detailed. Spellbinding!
FANFARE: Adrian Corleonis
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