Franck, Richard: Works for Violin and Piano - Schickedanz/Fograscher
Classical - Chamber
Richard Franck: Violin Sonata No. 1 in D major Op. 14, Violin Sonata No. 2 in C minor Op. 35, Three Pieces Op. 52
Christoph Schickedanz (violin)
Bernhard Fograscher (piano)
This SACD with first recordings of works by Richard Franck is a continuation of the audite series of the works of the composers Eduard and Richard Franck. The principal creative phase of Richard Franck was during the transitional period between 1880 and 1910, a time marked by a radical change from the late romantic to the beginning of the modern era. It is within this field of tension that the music of Richard Franck moves.
In the Sonata No. 1 in D major, Op. 14 of 1890, the composer comes to terms for the first time with the then popular sonata form. Wholly typical of his time, Franck reflects the classical form without breaking out of it. The characters of the individual movements range from the powerful and inventive first movement to the waltz-like second and intimate third to the virtuoso final movement, in which the work comes full circle by taking up thematic material from the first movement again. The Sonata No. 2 in C minor, Op. 35 was composed in 1903. Richard Franck shows himself to be fond of development here, enlarging upon the compositional principles already mastered. The result is a highly diversified sonata, sometimes reminiscent of Brahms's way of developing motivic material. The three short Character Pieces, Op. 52 are among the last published woks of Franck. The Elegy has a resigned effect, like a farewell, followed by a humorous Scherzo; the final piece is a Perpetuum Mobile, a playful virtuoso piece in "flight of the bumble-bee" style.
Review by John Broggio - August 7, 2008
A companion disc to Franck, Richard: Piano Quartets, Fantasies - Bernhard Fograscher, this features the same violinist and pianist - both Christoph Schickedanz and Bernhard Fograscher are on as good form as previously.
The two sonatas have a more distinctive voice than the quartets and are just as pleasant for the ear as their larger compatriot works. Both have four movements (fast-fast-slow-fast) and make the same types of demands on the musicians; largely the pianist has to be content with following the violinist instead of being equal protagonists as is the case in the near contemporaneous works by Brahms. The Three Pieces for Violin and Piano Op.52 are balanced in a similar manner musically speaking, starting with an elegy, then a scherzo and concluding with a sparkling perpetuum mobile.
Both Schickedanz and Fograscher are fully up to the task, playing with a freshness that is quite disarming and very pleasurable indeed. There is no question of Schickedanz possessing the required virtuosity and nor does Fograscher appear to resent being "second fiddle"! Whilst not the most memorable music that one can hear in this combination, it is nevertheless a disc for a relaxing evening - especially if a smile feels hard to come by. It is hard to imagine these present performances being superseded.
The recording, like the quartet disc was made in the SWR studio in Karlsruhe and shares the same honest characteristics.
Copyright © 2008 John Broggio and HRAudio.net