Arabella Steinbacher: French album | Orfeo C739081

Arabella Steinbacher: French album


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Label: Orfeo

Cat No: C739081

Barcode: 4011790739120

Format: CD

Number of Discs: 1

Genre: Chamber

Release Date: 26th May 2008



French chamber music from the time of the Third Republic is remarkable for its tremendous stylistic variety, revealing not only Neoclassical elements but also unexpected rhythms, the sort of local colour associated with folk music and, last but not least, typically French melodies typified by their elegance and songlike character.

A classic example of this style is Fauré's Violin Sonata, first performed in 1877, inspired by the Belgian violinist Hubert Léonard and now at the very heart of the new CD that Arabella Steinbacher has recorded with the pianist Robert Kulek.

Written half a century later, Ravel's Violin Sonata not only places considerable technical demands on its performers but also reflects the influence of jazz, an influence explored by the two performers with audible delight in imitating plucked instruments and blue notes.

The dizzying energy generated by Steinbacher and Kulek in Ravel's Tzigane needs to be heard to be believed. This homogeneous and yet varied programme opens with a piece that may also be regarded as an epilogue to this chapter from the history of French music: Francis Poulenc's Violin Sonata was written in the 1940s in memory of Federico García Lorca and is a compact work in terms of its expressive and compositional density.

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