DESKTOP
TABLET (max. 1024px)
MOBILE (max. 640px)
Return to Top
Ludwig Van
Toronto Montreal

Album review: Deep and delicious Franck and Strauss violin sonatas from Dumay and Lortie

By John Terauds on February 26, 2013

lortiedumay

I live for days like the one when I received a new album by pianist Louis Lortie and violinist/condcutor Augustin Dumay featuring music by César Franck and Richard Strauss.

John Terauds

John Terauds

John Terauds, the founder of Musical Toronto, is currently a Divinity student at University of Toronto and a church music director. He joined the Toronto Star in 1988, was the classical music critic from 2005 to 2012, and continues as a freelance critic for the paper. He is the co-author of Roy Thomson Hall: A Portrait, a book written with Toronto Star Colleague, William Littler.
John Terauds

Strauss’s Violin Sonata is my favourite work for these two instruments. It is operatic in its sweep (written by a 23-year-old composer who was only still dreaming of opera), it offers both pianist and violinist the opportunity to show their sensitive as well as showy sides, and it is built on a complex structure that offers a fresh revelation with each listen.

From the brash, crashing opening notes to the sweet filigree of the second-movement Improvisation, everything Lortie and Dumay do sounds exactly right. It is as if they are thinking and breathing in exact unison.

And this is only the start of the album.

Strauss is also represented by Jascha Heifetz’s arrangement of “Auf stillem Waldespfad” from a set of even earlier Strauss tone-poem miniatures for piano. Dumay and Lortie play with such simplicity, yet even this sweet little piece is full of nuance.

The other big sonata on the album is César Franck’s, written by the much older man a year before Strauss’s. Its an old favourite that, like Strauss’s, offers a wealth of changing moods and thematic details to keep the ear and mind entertained.

The disc is fleshed out with Mélancolie, a little trifle, and Lortie and Dumay’s own arrangement of Franck’s B-minor Prélude, fugue et variation, which he wrote for his new Cavaillé-Coll organ at Ste Clothilde Church in Paris in 1862. It’s a great piece of music that sounds particularly lyrical in the hands of these two masters. They wisely chose to leave the fugue entirely in the hands of the pianist.

The album is such a treat from beginning to end. The late-Romantic music may be too rich for some palates, but the elegance Lortie and Dumay bring to their interpretations is as if someone had really been able to invent a low-fat buttercream that tastes good.

The audio quality is also exceptional, finding the balance between close and spacious.

If there is one characteristic that really makes this album particularly special, it is the pacing that these two great artists bring to even the lightest pieces.

You can find all the details of this Onyx release here.

John Terauds

John Terauds

John Terauds

John Terauds, the founder of Musical Toronto, is currently a Divinity student at University of Toronto and a church music director. He joined the Toronto Star in 1988, was the classical music critic from 2005 to 2012, and continues as a freelance critic for the paper. He is the co-author of Roy Thomson Hall: A Portrait, a book written with Toronto Star Colleague, William Littler.
John Terauds
Share this article
lv_toronto_banner_high_590x300
comments powered by Disqus

Ludwig Van Toronto

LEBRECHT LISTENS | Steven Isserlis Gives Haydn A New Swagger

By Norman Lebrecht on September 22, 2017

The latest release by cellist Steven Isserlis takes on two well-known Haydn concertos plus three works touched by Haydn's influence.
Read the full story Comments
Share this article
lv_toronto_banner_high_590x300

RECORD KEEPING | Fairytales, Myths, And Renée Fleming AT Summer Night Concert 2017

By Paul E. Robinson on September 17, 2017

The Schönbrunn Palace provides a magical setting for Renée Fleming at The Summer Night Concert 2017 with the Vienna Philharmonic — conducted by Christoph Eschenbach.
Read the full story Comments
Share this article

SCRUTINY | COC's Ensemble Studio Preview Thrills With Surprise Guest

By Joseph So on September 15, 2017

Voice lovers gathered this week for an exclusive sneak-peak at the 2017 COC Ensemble Studio, complete with a surprise guest.
Read the full story Comments
Share this article
lv_toronto_banner_low_590x300
lv_toronto_ssb_atf_300x300
lv_toronto_ssb_high_300x300
lv_toronto_ssb_mid_300x300
lv_toronto_ssb_low_300x300
lv_toronto_tsb_high_300x700
lv_toronto_tsb_low_300x700
lv_toronto_ssb_atf_300x300
lv_toronto_ssb_high_300x300
lv_toronto_ssb_mid_300x300
lv_toronto_ssb_low_300x300
lv_toronto_tsb_high_300x700
lv_toronto_tsb_low_300x700

We have detected that you are using an adblocking plugin in your browser.

The revenue we earn by the advertisements is used to manage this website. Please whitelist our website in your adblocking plugin.