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Hyperion Records

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Landscape at Cagnes by Pierre-Auguste Renoir (1841-1919)
Private Collection / Photo © Lefevre Fine Art Ltd, London / Bridgeman Art Library, London
Track(s) taken from CDA67872
Recording details: October 2010
Concert Hall, Wyastone Estate, Monmouth, United Kingdom
Produced by Rachel Smith
Engineered by Simon Eadon
Release date: January 2012
Total duration: 2 minutes 40 seconds

'Gerhardt and Licad sound as free as air, intellectually confident, full of verve, with niceties of balance and intensities never an issue; a convincing frame of colour, movement and sound in place for every movement, every piece' (Gramophone)

'Visionary performers … one has a powerful sense of Alban Gerhardt's compelling grasp of architecture' (BBC Music Magazine)

'Gerhardt and Licad make a particularly fine duo here, working emotionally in unison, sensing the music's contours with like mind, breathing as one' (The Daily Telegraph)

'Like the works themselves, Gerhardt's playing and that of the pianist Cecile Licad is full of subtleties, the half-tones and inflections that make the chamber music of Fauré's final decade so elusive and fragile' (The Guardian)

'An arrestingly beautiful survey … this repertoire has been explored frequently and by some of the best, but seldom more persuasively than here … from every standpoint, Gerhardt's accounts of the sonatas seem exceptional, with their assured technical mastery and uncanny depth of insight … magnificent cello playing from Gerhardt, empathetically supportive accompaniments from Licad and a wonderfully natural and atmospheric recording to boot … recommended' (International Record Review)

'Both cello sonatas are rolled out effortlessly and with an abundance of colour … other short cello works, the delicious Élégie included, pad out this sizeable, and very satisfying, offering … a super recording' (The Scotsman)

'Alban Gerhardt has arrived at the ideal marriage of Fauré's refinement, essential reticence and the passion that lies just beneath the surface of the two cello sonatas' (Yorkshire Post)

Papillon, Op 77
composer
1884; Fauré's title is Pièce pour violoncelle; first published by Hamelle in 1898 under the non-approved title Papillon

Papillon Op 77  [2'40]

Other recordings available for download
Mats Lidström (cello), Bengt Forsberg (piano)
Steven Isserlis (cello), Pascal Devoyon (piano)
Introduction  EnglishFrançaisDeutsch
Following the publication by Julien Hamelle of the Élégie, Fauré was immediately commissioned to write a second piece for cello, perhaps as a lighter counterpart. But again there was a delay in publication, this time of fourteen years until 1898. On this occasion some responsibility might lie with the increasingly sour relations between composer and publisher, whose incompetence extended to actually losing manuscripts and who insisted on calling the piece first Libellules (Dragonflies), then Papillon (Butterfly); to which Fauré, no lover of fancy titles, retorted: ‘Butterfly or Dung Fly, call it whatever you like.’ The five sections of Papillon contain contrasting material: the odd-numbered ones might equally be a French ‘Flight of the Bumblebee’, pre-empting Rimsky-Korsakov’s 1899 version; in the two enclosed sections the cello sings a lyrical, symmetrical song that finally takes wing over one of Fauré’s favourite descending bass lines.

from notes by Roger Nichols © 2012


Other albums featuring this work
'Fauré: Cello Sonata No 2 & other works' (CDA66235)
Fauré: Cello Sonata No 2 & other works
'Smörgasbord' (CDA67184)
Smörgasbord

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