Franck: Violin Sonata; Chausson: Concert album review

Wed, May 10, 2017, 18:23


Chausson Franck Faust Melnikov Salagon Quartet

Isabelle Faust; Alexander Melnikov; Salagon Quartet; César Franck; Ernest Chausson

Harmonia Mundi

Children's Music

In César Franck’s Sonata Isabelle Faust plays her 1710 Stradivarius with unusual restraint. And Alexander Melnikov’s 1880s érard piano has a rounded tone that seems to allow him to play out without threatening to overwhelm the violin even at its most reticent.

The careful control of tone works to even greater effect in Chausson’s Concert, Op. 21, in which the scoring for piano and violin with string quartet and the sheer floridity of the sometimes orchestrally inclined writing can tempt performers into a style of delivery that can seem overblown.

The late-romantic lusciousness and febrile intensity are here balanced in a way that’s altogether to the music’s advantage.