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This selection of music for violin and piano spans many years of Saint-Saëns’s life from 1871 to 1920. Within it we can hear the variety of writing styles that Saint-Saëns used - the Sonata No 1 of 1885 is designed like Beethoven’s 'Kreutzer' Sonata, with a romantic Lisztian feel; the Sonata No 2, completed eleven years later, shows a clear classical leaning (it was first heard at a concert held in 1896 to celebrate the fiftieth anniversary of his first performance as an eleven year old!)
The Berceuse dates from 1871 and is dedicated to Paul Viardot, the violinist son of the celebrated singer Pauline Viardot, a close friend. A calm serene work, it has a simple, memorable melodic quality that places it close to Saint-Saëns's best-known piece, The Swan.
Philippe Graffin and Pascal Devoyon make a winning partnership—the proof of which can be seen in the reviews from their other discs on Hyperion in which they perform together. This disc is sure to receive an equal amount of praise.