COMPOSERS: Fauré and Franck
LABELS: Alpha Classics
ALBUM TITLE: Fauré • Franck
WORKS: Fauré: Violin Sonatas Nos 1 & 2; Franck: Violin Sonata in A
PERFORMER: Tedi Papavrami (violin), Nelson Goerner (piano)
CATALOGUE NO: ALPHA 271
Pianist Nelson Goerner’s opening statement in Fauré’s First Sonata is passionate, free and probing, and I was expecting violinist Tedi Papavrami to follow suit, but he is a little more discreet and gentle in tone. This is emphasised by the recording, which favours the piano in dynamic and in its position in the sound image. One’s ears adjust after a while, and what’s then clear is that this is a performance of subtlety and confidence, with Papavrami modulating his tone with effortless elegance in the Andante, lithe in the athletics of the Allegro vivo, and mercurial in the sudden mood changes in the finale.
The Second Sonata is, characteristically for late Fauré, a much more hermetic work: the sweeping melodies are still there, but the textures are often barer, and the harmonies more quirky and less predictable. The Andantespins a long, questing line, and finds both players in complete agreement, while the more energetic outer movements surge with an emotional logic.
There’s technical aplomb throughout. This holds in the Franck, where the recording balance is truer, not only in the restrained first movement – Franck clearly paying homage to Fauré – but also in the turbulent Allegroin which the opening theme is a little too aggressive, but the quieter sections are beautifully judged. The Recitativo keeps up a high voltage throughout, and some of this is transferred to the finale, where the opening canon could be more relaxed to give contrast. An impressive, well-planned CD nevertheless.