A cap­ti­vat­ing end to a cen­te­nary year

Ju­lian Hay­lock swoons over el­e­gant per­for­mances of De­bussy’s late sonatas

BBC Music Magazine - - Chamber -

Vi­o­lin Sonata; Sonata for Flute, Vi­ola and Harp; Cello Sonata; Berceuse héroïque; Pièce pour l’oeu­vre du ‘Vête­ment du blessé’; Élégie; Les Soirs il­lu­minés par l’ardeur du char­bon

Ma­gali Mos­nier (flute), Is­abelle Faust (vi­o­lin), An­toine Ta­mestit (vi­ola), Jean-gui­hen Queyras (cello), Xavier de Maistre (harp), Alexander Mel­nikov, Tan­guy de Wil­lien­court, Javier Pe­ri­anes (pi­ano) Har­mo­nia Mundi HMM 902303 54:02 mins De­bussy’s three late cham­ber sonatas are among the most ex­quis­ite of all his cre­ative prog­eny, of­fer­ing a tan­ta­lis­ing fu­sion of the in­fi­nite and fi­nite, of pseudo-im­pro­visatory ges­tures op­er­at­ing within a mal­leable struc­tural frame­work. In­cred­i­bly it took nearly a cen­tury for per­form­ing styles to catch up with De­bussy’s vi­sion­ary writ­ing. Un­til re­cently this mu­sic was al­most in­vari­ably viewed and ex­pe­ri­enced through a prism of 19th-cen­tury rhetoric – lis­ten­ing to Is­abelle Faust and Alexander Mel­nikov deftly tracing the evanes­cent con­tours of the Vi­o­lin Sonata comes there­fore as some­thing of a rev­e­la­tion.

So, too, Jean-gui­hen Queyras and Javier Pe­ri­anes in the Cello Sonata, the first of the three to be com­posed, whose pi­quant pat­tern­ing (es­pe­cially in the cen­tral ‘Séré­nade’) seem­ingly trace the elu­sive tra­jec­tory of a but­ter­fly in a sum­mer breeze. Most strik­ing of all is the en­chant­ing triple sonata, whose harp-in­flected mus­ings ap­pear to float free of mu­si­cal grav­ity in this hyp­notic ac­count from Xavier de Maistre, An­toine Ta­mestit and Ma­gali Mos­nier. Four pi­ano rar­i­ties played with be­guil­ing sen­si­tiv­ity by Tan­guy de Wil­lien­court round out one of the most cap­ti­vat­ing re­leases of the De­bussy cen­te­nary year. PER­FOR­MANCE

RECORD­ING

Faust and Mel­nikov deftly trace the Vi­o­lin Sonata’s con­tours

But­ter­fly ef­fect: Queyras’s cello gen­tly soars Hear ex­tracts from this record­ing and the rest of this month’s choices on the BBC Mu­sic Mag­a­zine web­site at www.clas­si­cal-mu­sic.com

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