Hyperion Records

Sonata for cello and piano in F sharp minor, Op 46

'Koechlin & Pierné: Cello Sonatas' (CDA66979)
Koechlin & Pierné: Cello Sonatas
Movement 1: Lent
Movement 2: Animez très peu – Calme
Movement 3: I Tempo (Mouvet. de début)
Movement 4: Animé

Sonata for cello and piano in F sharp minor, Op 46
Of all the divine French cello sonatas, only the Debussy from 1915 is heard live today. But getting to know Pierné’s ditto, puts French cello music in a new perspective. Just like the Beethoven A major Sonata, Op 69, surrounded by the ‘Pastoral’ Symphony (Op 68) and ‘Ghost’ Trio (Op 70) the Pierné Cello Sonata is in good company, too! On one side, there’s the massive C minor Piano Trio, which makes any such group just glow on stage. And on the other, yet another trio in a vital, neo-classic, pure C major style for flute, cello and piano: Sonata da Camera.

The Cello Sonata is absolutely loaded with beautiful material, and as far as cello writing goes, Pierné knew no limits. The fast middle section starts out strict, however hinting desire. Build-up upon build-up become frustrating, and yet, sensual. The more he wants the thicker the chords, the bigger the shifts. It’s all terribly exciting, but the expression is serious. The slow section from the beginning returns with intensified beauty, even managing to climax before ending peacefully in that wonderful key he picked, F sharp minor.

from notes by Mats Lidström © 1998

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