Violin Sonatas
César Franck - Francis Poulenc

Violin Sonatas

Giovanni Guzzo

Label: Champs Hill
Format: CD
Barcode: 5060212590831
Catalog number: CHRCD 081
Releasedate: 01-04-16
- each of the sonatas of this album reflects the cultivation of a repertoire of French chamber music during a period marked by change and conflicts 

Each of the sonatas on this recording arose naturally out of notions of national identity and pride. They also reflect the careful cultivation of a distinctive repertoire of French chamber music during a period marked by breakneck change and catastrophic conflicts. César Franck and Gabriel Fauré, both talented and influential teachers, played significant roles in nudging French chamber music out of the comfort of domestic parlours and privileged aristocratic salons into the mainstream of the international concert repertoire. The Belgian Franck and his Francophone followers absorbed important lessons from German music; Fauré and many fellow Gallic composers, meanwhile, sought to emulate in their work the refined tonal beauty, clarity and sophistication of contemporary French verse. The art of composition in France gained in depth and seriousness during the early decades of the Third Republic, in part in response to heavy French losses in the Franco-Prussian War of 1870–71, in part to advance the nation’s position in the escalating fin-de-siècle culture wars. While Poulenc openly mocked such high- minded gravité in the works of his precocious youth, in later years he confronted serious questions about life’s transience and paradoxes, not least those raised by the national humiliation that followed Nazi Germany’s conquest and partition of France in 1940.