Gautier Capuçon by Gregory Batardon, Yuja Wang by Norbert Kniat / DG
Franck's and Rachmaninoff’s sonatas move from the pensive to the passionate. Franck’s is a work of great originality, particularly the third-movement Recitativo with its tentative rhythms and shifting tonalities that lead to a triumphant finale. Rachmaninoff’s sonata also culminates with jubilation, but only after brooding clouds are swept away by rapturous melody.
This concert is generously underwritten by Olivier and Desiree Berggruen.
At a Glance
FRANCKViolin Sonata in A Major (transcr. for cello Jules Delsart)
One of the most beloved works in the chamber music repertoire, Franck’s luxuriantly Romantic Violin Sonata in A Major was composed for Belgian violin virtuoso Eugène Ysaÿe. Considered by many as the composer’s masterpiece, it has been enthusiastically appropriated by cellists, violists, and flutists. Like Mendelssohn’s Violin Sonata, Franck’s features a freely declamatory slow movement in which the two players meditate upon material presented elsewhere.
RACHMANINOFF Cello Sonata in G Minor, Op. 19
Rachmaninoff remained an unabashed champion of Romanticism long past the style’s sell-by date in the first half of the 20th century. The lush and impetuously lyrical language that characterizes such early works as the G-Minor Cello Sonata of 1901 remained the pianist-composer’s stock in trade for the remaining four decades of his life. Rachmaninoff’s soaring melodies, richly upholstered textures, and highly idiomatic writing for both cello and piano have given the work a secure place in the repertoire.