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Track(s) taken from CDA67872

Papillon, Op 77

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

Alban Gerhardt (cello), Cecile Licad (piano)
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

Cover artwork: Landscape at Cagnes by Pierre-Auguste Renoir (1841-1919)
Private Collection / Photo © Lefevre Fine Art Ltd, London / Bridgeman Art Library, London

Other recordings available for download

Mats Lidström (cello), Bengt Forsberg (piano)
Steven Isserlis (cello), Pascal Devoyon (piano)


'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)
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

Après la publication par Julien Hamelle de l'Élégie, Fauré a immédiatement reçu la commande d’une seconde œuvre pour violoncelle, peut-être comme contrepartie plus légère. Mais, à nouveau, il y a eu du retard, quatorze ans cette fois jusqu’en 1898. Dans le cas présent, une part de la responsabilité tient peut-être aux relations de plus en plus acerbes entre le compositeur et l’éditeur, qui a poussé l’incompétence jusqu’à la perte totale de manuscrits et qui a insisté pour appeler la pièce d’abord Libellules, puis Papillon; ce à quoi Fauré, qui n’aimait pas les titres fantaisistes, rétorqua: «Papillon ou Mouche à merde, mettez ce que vous voulez.» Les cinq sections de Papillon contiennent du matériel contrasté: les numéros impairs pourraient tout aussi bien être un «Vol du bourdon» français, anticipant celui que Rimski-Korsakov composera en 1899; dans les deux sections encastrées, le violoncelle chante une mélodie lyrique symétrique qui s’envole finalement sur l’une des basses descendantes favorites de Fauré.

extrait des notes rédigées par Roger Nichols © 2012
Français: Marie-Stella Pâris

Nachdem die Élégie von Julien Hamelle publiziert worden war, erhielt Fauré sofort den Auftrag, ein zweites Stück für Cello zu schreiben, möglicherweise als ein leichteres Pendant. Doch auch hier trat eine Verzögerung ein, diesmal jedoch von 14 Jahren, bis 1898. Diesmal mag der Grund dafür die zunehmend verbitterte Beziehung zwischen Komponist und Herausgeber gewesen sein—letzterer war derart inkompetent, dass ihm mehrere Manuskripte abhandenkamen. Zudem bestand er zunächst darauf, das Stück Libellules [Libellen], dann Papillon [Schmetterling] zu nennen, woraufhin Fauré, der modische Titel nicht mochte, erwiderte: „Schmetterling oder Mistfliege, nennen Sie es, wie Sie wollen.“ In den fünf Teilen von Papillon findet sich unterschiedliches Material: die Abschnitte mit den ungeraden Zahlen könnten ebenso gut ein französischer „Hummelflug“ sein und damit das Werk Rimsky-Korsakow von 1899 vorwegnehmen. In den beiden umrahmten Teilen singt das Cello ein lyrisches, symmetrisches Lied, das schließlich über einer von Fauré besonders geschätzten absteigenden Basslinie hinwegfliegt.

aus dem Begleittext von Roger Nichols © 2012
Deutsch: Viola Scheffel

Other albums featuring this work

Fauré: Cello Sonata No 2 & other works
CDA66235Archive Service
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