Our rating 
5.0 out of 5 star rating 5.0

COMPOSERS: Debussy/Poulenc/Franck
LABELS: Virgin Ultraviolet
WORKS: Cello Sonatas
PERFORMER: Steven Isserlis (cello) Pascal Devoyon (piano)
CATALOGUE NO: CUV 5 61198 2 DDD (1989)
This was worth going out and buying at full price; now, reissued at mid-price, it’s even harder to resist. Isserlis and Devoyon make an impressive duo, each working flexibly within the other’s rubato. Both pay meticulous attention to the intricate dynamic and expression marks in Debussy’s sonata – and it works: this, you feel, is how Debussy wanted it to be. The schizophrenic mood changes of Poulenc’s sonata (1948) are well caught, and the Cavatine is almost unbearably moving. A slight extraneous rasping from the cello accompanies some of the Franck’s higher and more strident passages, but this is not enough to mar an otherwise eloquent performance. Janet Banks