CD and Other Review

Review: The Chopin Album (Sol Gabetta, Bertrand Chamayou)

A title like The Chopin Album, might lead you to expect a disc from the latest pianistic talent, but happily on this occasion it’s a collection of repertoire for cello and piano duo from close friends, cellist Sol Gabetta and pianist Bertrand Chamayou. The stunning centrepiece is the significant Cello Sonata in G Minor. The complexity of the first movement alone is a marvel, and it’s a shame the piece isn’t more widely known. Gabetta talks about approaching Chopin as a bel canto composer, who was always aware of a ‘vocal’ line in the music. It’s a fitting analogy and Chamayou and Gabetta show great sensitivity towards the primary melody, while still uncovering Chopin’s rich polyphony. The Largo movement is achingly beautiful, without becoming too overly sentimental. The militaristic Polonaise Brilliante provides both Chamayou and Gabetta with plenty of virtuosic scope and both performers relish the opportunity. The remainder of the album serves as a tribute to the friendship between Chopin and respected cellist Auguste-Joseph Franchomme. The two men co-authored the Grand Duo Concertant and worked independently on arrangements and transcriptions of Chopin’s music. An original work of Franchomme’s is included on the album, the Nocturne for Cello and Piano…

July 24, 2015
CD and Other Review

Review: Schubert: Piano works (Chamayou)

In this thoughtful and measured recital, French pianist Bertrand Chamayou gives evocative accounts of a wide range of Schubert pieces. In the liner notes, Chamayou suggests that the album is “a kind of imaginary recital programme, along the lines of a concert that could have been heard in Vienna at the beginning of the Romantic period, in the cosy and intimate atmosphere of a salon… but which, for various historical reasons, could not have happened in this form”. While several other pianists have used the idea of a Schubertiade as inspiration for recital programming, the anachronistic inclusion of arrangements and transcriptions by Liszt and Richard Strauss make this a performance to remember, and prove that Chamayou has put a considerable amount of thought into this CD. At its heart is a strong performance of the Wanderer-Fantasie, a work that Chamayou infuses with a crucial sense of interconnection between the movements. It’s particularly important here, as the whole work is built on a motif taken from Schubert’s lied Der Wanderer, and that vital link is neatly highlighted.  The other major works on the disc include the late Drei Klavierstücke D946, and the delightful 12 Ländler D790. The Klavierstücke were written within…

July 21, 2014