Debussy; Franck; Ravel Violin Sonatas

Jennifer Pike keeps the emotions in check in a fine French recital

Record and Artist Details

Composer or Director: César Franck, Maurice Ravel, Claude Debussy

Genre:

Chamber

Label: Chandos

Media Format: CD or Download

Media Runtime: 0

Mastering:

Stereo
DDD

Catalogue Number: CHAN10667

Tracks:

Composition Artist Credit
Sonata for Violin and Piano César Franck, Composer
César Franck, Composer
Jennifer Pike, Violin
Martin Roscoe, Piano
Though it’s standard repertoire, this is a recital that’s full of interest. Jennifer Pike and Martin Roscoe’s account of the Debussy is particularly fine; in a work where character and style are so important, they never disappoint – the brilliant passages dispatched with gusto, the grotesque moments given their due and the slinky, sensual episodes suitably alluring.

The first movement of the Ravel gives a clear, balanced impression, with no unmarked changes of tempo; Pike’s pure tone contributes perfectly to the bright, spare textures. Compared with the more volatile, temperamental account of Frank Braley and Renaud Capuçon (Virgin, 4/02), it seems cool and objective, qualities I’m sure the composer would have admired. On the other hand, Capuçon and Braley, at a faster tempo, give a more unbuttoned performance of the “Blues” movement, where by comparison Pike and Roscoe seem slightly stiff. But their finale is excellent: Roscoe bringing the different motifs together into a convincing sequence, animated by Pike’s precise moto perpetuo.

There’s similar ability to weld disparate material into a strong discourse in the Recitativo-Fantasia movement in the Franck – its closing pages are captivatingly poetic. In the preceding Allegro, Roscoe’s powerful playing of the agitated piano part threatens at times to overwhelm the violin and I wish, when the second theme goes quiet, they didn’t also slacken the tempo (track 8, 1'41"). But overall, I’m most impressed that Pike isn’t tempted constantly to emote, so that when the feeling does become more intense, it really tells.

Explore the world’s largest classical music catalogue on Apple Music Classical.

Included with an Apple Music subscription. Download now.

Gramophone Print

  • Print Edition

From £6.87 / month

Subscribe

Gramophone Digital Club

  • Digital Edition
  • Digital Archive
  • Reviews Database
  • Events & Offers

From £9.20 / month

Subscribe

Gramophone Reviews

  • Reviews Database

From £6.87 / month

Subscribe

Gramophone Digital Edition

  • Digital Edition
  • Digital Archive

From £6.87 / month

Subscribe

                              

If you are a library, university or other organisation that would be interested in an institutional subscription to Gramophone please click here for further information.