Fuchs Works for Cello & Piano
As recently as April there appeared an identical coupling of these works from Nancy Green and Caroline Palmer (Biddulph). Any collector curious enough to try that will have found, surely, music of much charm by a gifted and expert composer whose affinity with Brahms is not really as great as is often alleged. His world was that of Brahms; he loved Schubert; in the Fantasiestuke, particularly he is close to the manner of Schumann. He is in a remarkable teaching 'family': Simon Sechter nearly taught Schubert and did teach Bruckner and Fuchs, and Fuchs taught a host of composers including Wolf, Mahler and Strauss. Yet his cannot be called eclectic music, for his style was formed not in imitation Brahms and Schumann but in his own way and with a distinct melodic originality. In the new performance, the Fantasiestuke do not sound quite so Schumannesque, but they also lack some of the quirkiness of the previous performance. The opening movement of the D minor Sonata, on the other hand, gains from the rather more relaxed approach that Fuchs is known to have wanted.
These performances are in general less Brahmsian, in that they do not seem to strive for so much. Listening to the sonatas again, I found even more to admire in them. These new performances emphasize more the lyrical, relaxed manner and, in the long opening movement of the D minor Sonata, there is a very intelligent understanding of structure which enables the music to unfold with ease and point.'