In the D minor Cello Sonata, the predominant influence is that of Schumann. This may have been a drawback in Chabrier’s eyes, but to the modern listener, unconcerned with the claims of novelty, it leads to a blend of strong bass lines and mildly chromatic harmony which sits well with Godard’s pleasing melodic gift. In the first movement, his operatic leanings come out in a number of sudden changes of texture and dynamics, especially in some low, menacing chromatic swirls. Strong bass lines are again evident in the central slow movement, as is a partiality for the major third in the melodic line. The last movement is structurally the most complex, with three main themes, the third of them a passionate tune high on the cello which any operatic tenor would give his eye-teeth for. The almost patriotic tone of the ending again recalls Schumann.
from notes by Roger Nichols © 1996