Recorded on 10/16/2007, uploaded on 01/16/2009
Musician's or Publisher's Notes
In his later years, Claude Debussy planned a series of six chamber sonatas under the title Six sonates pour divers instruments. Only three of the planned works, however, materialized—the two solo sonatas for violin and cello, and the chamber sonata for flute, viola and harp. Each is a testament to Debussy’s skill in the realm of chamber music, but also examples of the composer’s gradual progression toward absolute music and abandonment of the overtly visual and textual elements that had dominated nearly all of his earlier music.
First to be composed was the Cello Sonata in D minor, completed in 1815. Possessing a severe brevity (most performances last only eleven minutes), it is nonetheless filled to the brim with material. The sonata is structured in three movements, though the last two are played without break, but it is not to the familiar Classical sonata structure the Debussy turned for inspiration. Instead, Debussy adopted a plan inspired by the music of an even earlier period, namely that of François Couperin. Mixed with this Baroque influence, however, is Debussy’s modern compositional language of modes, whole-tone and pentatonic scales, and advanced techniques required of the soloist.
The opening Prologue begins with a declamatory statement of the movement’s principal theme in the piano answered, in turn, by a flourish from the cello. Much of the cello’s part is highly ornamental with the piano mostly resigned to harmonic support. This changes, however, in the movement’s central episode as the serene and lyrical music gives way to an animated ostinato in the cello and the piano takes on a somewhat more melodically important role. The peaceful music of the opening returns to round out the movement’s ternary design and closes with quiet harmonics from the cello. The ensuing Sérénade is an unusual movement with a majority of the solo part played pizzicato. Save for a few arco passages in the opening section, only the middle episode features any prominent use of the bow. A truncated reprise of the opening gives way to a bowed passage that serves as a transition to the sonata’s finale. An energetic movement, the finale is not without its moments of tender beauty and much of it is indeed lyrical. Joseph DuBose
Claude Debussy Sonata for cello and piano in d minor (Prologue; Serenade; Finale)
Debussy's Cello Sonata was meant to be one of six in a group of sonatas; only three were completed. Finished in 1915, it is brief, eloquent, endlessly colorful, and detailed. The piece demands a great variety of cello techniques - left-hand pizzicato, flautendo bowing, harmonics and portamenti. The details of the piano writing are also painstakingly specific, leaving the performers with a very precise picture of the composer's wishes.
The first movement, is broad and majestic, full of contrasts and push-and-pull exchanges between the piano and cello. The second movement, Sérénade: Modérément animé, is impish and rhythmically playful, with sudden and uncertain forays into flirtatious triple meter dance. The last movement, Finale: Animé, léger et nerveux, is a driven ABA form. The A sections are full of yearning and vigor, while the B-perhaps the heart of the movement-is a deeply sensuous, languorous interlude.
Courtesy of International Music Foundation.
This is a completely bitter sweet sound, yet it's carefree. I love Claude Debussy. He is one of my all time favorites. And Dariusz and Inna gave it justice. Very well played. :)
yes i definitely agree with you
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