Following their triumphant disc, Alban Gerhardt and Cecile Licad are reunited for Fauré’s music for cello and piano. The two cello sonatas are among the masterpieces of the cello repertoire, looking back to the nineteenth century but also with an edginess that may well reflect the time in which they were written—during and immediately after the First World War. Remarkably, Fauré was in his seventies by the time he wrote them. There’s some debate as to how fast the last movement of the first sonata should go—so Alban Gerhardt has recorded two alternative versions, to be programmed to the listener’s taste.
Alongside the sonatas are some of Fauré’s most seductive bon-bons, including the famous Sicilienne and Élégie, and the so-called Papillon (so-named at his publisher’s insistence and much to Fauré’s annoyance—he hated fluffy titles).
Alban Gerhardt is of course a Hyperion regular and this is his ninth album for the label.