Collection: French Violin Music

COMPOSERS: Auric,Francaix,Milhaud,Poulenc,Satie
LABELS: EMI
WORKS: Works by Auric, Françaix, Satie, Milhaud & Poulenc
PERFORMER: Frank Peter Zimmermann (violin)Alexander Lonquich (piano)
CATALOGUE NO: CDC 7 54541 2 DDD

Advertisement

Everybody thinks of frivolity with these composers, but the music goes all the way to lacerating intensity. Auric covers most of the journey in the first couple of minutes of his Sonata, careering from smooth waltz back into manic energy, and Poulenc’s Sonata plunges repeatedly into depths of despair with a bitter, even violent edge that the performers locate unerringly.

Advertisement

There’s a distinctly sarcastic side to Satie’s whimsy, while Françaix is the master of deadpan tunes and banana-skin accompaniments. The essential lyricism of Milhaud mellows the players’ ferocity, but the spacious acoustic magnifies it. Robert Maycock