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Header image of page : MICHAEL BARENBOIM /  JULIEN QUENTIN
chamber music

MICHAEL BARENBOIM / JULIEN QUENTIN

Ravel, Messiaen, Saint-Saëns, Franck, Fauré, Vieuxtemps, Chausson, Enescu

Violinist Michael Barenboim and pianist Julien Quentin present a programme of lyrical and impassioned French miniatures.

Programme

MAURICE RAVEL (1875-1937)
Violin Sonata No. 1 “Sonate posthume”

OLIVIER MESSIAEN (1908-1992)
“Thème et variations”

CAMILLE SAINT-SAËNS (1835 – 1921)
Berceuse in B-flat Op. 38

CÉSAR FRANCK (1822-1890)
“Andantino quietoso” Op. 6

Interval

GABRIEL FAURÉ (1845-1924)
“Élégie” Op. 24

HENRI VIEUXTEMPS (1820-1881)
“Élégie” Op. 30

ERNEST CHAUSSON (1855-1899)
“Pièce” Op. 39

GEORGE ENESCU (1881-1955)
Concertstück

Ravel’s posthumously-published Violin Sonata is a student fragment – a first movement, written in 1897, just before entering Fauré’s Paris Conservatoire composition class, but already featuring his trademark lyricism and modal harmonies. Messiaen’s early Thème et variations of 1932 presents its long-lined theme softly; then after four variations of increasing speed, the fifth restates it newly resplendent, an octave higher. Saint-Saëns’s Berceuse of 1897 matches its title with its serene cantabile style, whereas there’s a more urgent feel to the Andantino quietoso Franck penned in 1843 to perform with his brother, its piano accompaniment a richly swirling chordal one, which the violin then adopts towards the end, passing the melody to the piano. Like the Ravel, Fauré’s heartfelt Élégie of 1880 wasn’t conceived as a single-movement work – but Fauré tended to write his slow movements first, after which this felt like a standalone piece. Long-lined lyricism punctuated by more bravura turbulence are equally the story for Vieuxtemps’s 1848 Élégie, Chausson’s nostalgic Pièce of 1897, and Enescu’s technically demanding Concertstück, the latter a 1906 commission from Fauré, for the Paris Conservatoire’s annual viola competition.