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Track(s) taken from CDA67100

Élégie, Op 160

composer

Philippe Graffin (violin), Pascal Devoyon (piano)
Recording details: January 1999
Henry Wood Hall, London, United Kingdom
Produced by Mark Brown
Engineered by Antony Howell & Julian Millard
Release date: October 1999
Total duration: 4 minutes 17 seconds

Cover artwork: Les meules de foin à St Clement by Daniel de Monfreid (1856-1929)
Sotheby’s Picture Library
 
1
Élégie Op 160  [4'17]

Reviews

'listen to this wonderful new disc from Philippe Graffin and Pascal Devoyon. From the turbulent emotions of the opening to the furiously driven moto perpetuo of the ultimately triumphant conclusion, they hold the listener spellbound … There is no doubt about the sheer pleasure which Graffin and Devoyon find in this music, with a performance enducing a wit and heartwarming intimacy that also extend to the smaller works … Strongly recommended’ (BBC Music Magazine)

'Fresh from the extraordinary success of his Saint-Saëns concertos, Philippe Graffin proves even more alluring in the French master's chamber music. This spellbinding performance had me lost in rapt concentration. The rarities that make up the rest of the disc are also sheer delight. A wonderful recording in every way' (Classic CD)

‘Philippe Graffin is the sensitive violinist who often conveys a sense of rapture in this music. Pascal Devoyon is a splendid partner in this welcome recording’ (MDC Classical Express)

‘Graffin is one of the most elegant violinists of the younger generation, his performances of Saint-Saëns having that rare thistledown quality that creates a remarkable crystalline beauty … In passages of more substance, he is equally persuasive, despatching technical difficulties with consummate ease … In Devoyon, he has a partner that matches his radiant readings, the clarity of articulation complementing Graffin’s silvery tone’ (Yorkshire Post)
The emotional expression of Opus 160 (1920) is grandiose. This Élégie starts in a surprisingly foursquare way, though some of the composer’s usual subtleties of harmony and form appear later and help to build a powerful climax. It’s inscribed to the memory of Alexis de Castillon, gifted composer and co-founder with Saint-Saëns of the Société Nationale de Musique. Castillon (1838–1873) only found his voice as a composer in the last years of his life. Looking back over his long career, Saint-Saëns must have been struck by the contrasting destinies—his colleague who had died before achieving any renown, and his own life, full of public honour but extending into what must often have seemed an alien era, increasingly remote from the revered classical masters who had been his Aunt Charlotte’s contemporaries.

from notes by Duncan Druce © 1999

L’expression émotionnelle de l’opus 160 (1920) est grandiose. Cette pièce débute d’une manière étonnamment franche, même si certaines des habituelles subtilités harmoniques et formelles du compositeur apparaissent ensuite pour aider à atteindre un puissant apogée. Elle est dédiée à la mémoire d’Alexis de Castillon, compositeur talentueux et cofondateur, avec Saint-Saëns, de la Société nationale de musique. Castillon (1838–1873) ne trouva sa voie de compositeur que dans les dernières années de sa vie. Saint-Saëns a dû être frappé, au vu de la longueur de sa propre carrière, par le contraste de leurs destinées—son collègue, mort avant d’avoir atteint la renommée, et lui, dont la vie remplie d’honneurs s’était pourtant aventurée en ce qui avait souvent dû lui sembler une terre étrangère, incroyablement éloignée des maîtres classiques, contemporains de sa grand-tante Charlotte.

extrait des notes rédigées par Duncan Druce © 1999
Français: Hypérion

Der Gefühlsausdruck von Opus 160 (1920) ist grandioser. Diese Élegie beginnt überraschend barsch, doch einige der Feinheiten in Harmonik und Form, die wir vom Komponisten gewohnt sind, treten später in Erscheinung und tragen dazu bei, einen eindrucksvollen Höhepunkt aufzubauen. Das Stück ist dem Andenken von Alexis de Castillon gewidmet, der ein begabter Komponist und wie Saint-Saëns Mitbegründer der Société Nationale de Musique war. Castillon (1838–1873) hatte seine individuelle Stimme als Komponist erst in den letzten Jahren seines Lebens gefunden. Saint-Saëns muß im Rückblick auf seine eigene lange Karriere aufgegangen sein, wie unterschiedlich ihre Schicksale waren—sein Kollege war gestorben, noch ehe er sich einen Namen gemacht hatte, während sich sein Leben voller öffentlicher Ehrungen bis in eine ihm bestimmt oft fremde Ära fortsetzte, so daß die verehrten Meister der Klassik, die Zeitgenossen seiner Tante Charlotte gewesen waren, in immer größere Ferne rückten.

aus dem Begleittext von Duncan Druce © 1999
Deutsch: Anne Steeb/Bernd Müller

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