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Ravel – À Moune

Lina Tur Bonet (violin), Marco Testori (cello), Pierre Goy (piano) (Challenge Classics)

Our rating 
4.0 out of 5 star rating 4.0

Berceuse de la nom de Fauré; Violin Sonata in G; Tzigane; Sonata for Violin & Cello
Lina Tur Bonet (violin), Marco Testori (cello), Pierre Goy (piano)
Challenge Classics CC 72916   51:06 mins


This tribute to Ravel’s friend, the violinist Hélène Jourdan-Morhange (her name here variously misspelt and mispunctuated), brings together four of his chamber works from the 1920s, when Pierre Boulez felt that ‘after the Trio [1914] you don’t find the same deep feeling as before, but more a kind of stylistic game, which is absolutely extraordinary.’ Three of the elements in this game are bitonality, popular music and (pace Boulez) a somewhat refined form of lyricism, and not the least of the qualities of the players here is that they are adept in all three.

From Lina Tur Bonet’s sweetly elegant tone in the Berceuse sur le nom de Fauré you wouldn’t expect also to be startled by the jazz in the central movement of the Violin Sonata, or blown away by the Hungarian wildness in Tzigane. Especially striking in the former are the little deformations of the notated rhythm which any true jazz playing has to observe, with both violinist and pianist here egging each other on, while in Tzigane the violinist swoops and glides with superb abandon against the acid jangling of the luthéal.

So it is with reluctance that I have to mention occasional disregard for Ravel’s dynamic markings, notably the pianist’s for the pianissimo leading into letter B in the Berceuse. Strangest of all is a muddle at figure 3 in the first movement of the Violin Sonata, where the pianist seems bemused by the violinist’s quiet entry, so we’re given half a bar beyond what’s written.


Roger Nichols