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Fauré: Complete works for Cello & Piano (Andreas Brantelid, Bengt Forsberg)

Cd/Dvd Reviews - Chamber

Fauré

Cello and piano works
Andreas Brantelid, Bengt Forsberg
BIS BIS2220

by on August 25, 2017 (August 25, 2017) filed under Chamber | Comment Now
★★★★☆ Cello takes centre stage in French master’s pint-sized works.

It’s hard to argue there could be a better way to demonstrate Fauré’s unparalleled ability to express melody than through the combination of piano and cello. This new recording collects all of Fauré’s compositions for the two instruments, tracing them from his early ‘salon’ period through to his sparse later compositions, which he wrote when he was almost completely deaf. While his two major cello sonatas (1917 and 1921) feature, the majority of this disc highlights Fauré’s ability to perfect the miniature.

Cellist Andreas Brantelid and pianist Bengt Forsberg are perfect partners for these ‘songs without words’. Brantelid has a rich, claret tone. He perhaps takes a bit too much liberty in elongating phrases at times, but he has the consistency of sound to sustain the ear. Forsberg is an experienced chamber musician and plays with willing support, but sparkles through the texture at the appropriate moments. Nothing demonstrates this more than the famous Élégie. The two sonatas allow Forsberg to demonstrate more of his virtuosity, and he rises to the occasion admirably.

This album is a worthwhile portrayal of this master of chamber music. Fauré shied away from large orchestral colours, to instead busy himself with works of a smaller size, but by no means smaller meaning. These are perfect miniatures, and Brantelid and Forsberg do much to champion these delicacies.

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