The Irish Times - Friday - The Ticket - - MUSIC REVIEWS - MICHAEL DERVAN

Brian O’Kane (cello), Michael McHale (piano)

Champs Hill Records CHRCD 113

Cork cel­list Brian O’Kane and Belfast pi­anist Michael McHale present the First Cello Sonata by Saint-Saëns and both of Fauré’s cello sonatas in the con­text of shorter pieces by both com­posers. Their play­ing shows a re­ward­ing fond­ness for un­der­state­ment in Fauré. O’Kane and McHale un­der­stand how em­pha­sis can skew the ex­pres­sive ef­fect, that the mu­sic is best left to speak for it­self, and that it sounds much bet­ter — and some­times star­tlingly mod­ern — when ap­proached with so­phis­ti­cated re­serve. They are fully alive and alert in the in­vig­o­rat­ing though more con­ven­tional world of the Saint-Saëns, and their han­dling of the six shorter pieces is pleas­ing, too. champ­shill­records.co.uk

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