Tatiana Samouil, David Lively – Debussy: Sonates, danses et rhapsodies (2018) [FLAC 24bit/44,1kHz]

Tatiana Samouil, David Lively – Debussy: Sonates, danses et rhapsodies (2018)
FLAC (tracks) 24 bit/44,1 kHz  | Time – 01:12:36  minutes | 618 MB | Genre: Classical
Studio Masters, Official Digital Download | Booklet, Front Cover | © Indésens

Along with the Etudes and En blanc et noir of 1915, Claude Debussy‘s three sonatas constitute the last will and testament of the composer, who died in Paris on March 25, 1918. It’s not due to there being the final works in Debussy‘s chronology that confer this privilege open them so much as the fact that they perfectly manifest the composer’s ideal of French music distinguished by « clarity, elegance, simple and natural declamation (in which) seeks, above all, to please. How could one better describe these three masterpieces ?

Debussy had a certain idea of French music, and he considered Couperin and Rameau the founders of the tradition and perhaps the only French composers before him worthy of interest. The Sonatas pay undistinguished tribute to them. Moreover, with him, this conception of French music asserted himself as a reaction to Wagner, at a time when it was good form in Paris to swoon when listening to works by the master of Bayreuth. The nationalist feeling and mind bent on revenge are never far off when Debussy speaks of French music. The three sonatas, which with their grace and lightness, where to be antidotes to he « multicoloured putty » and « heroic theatrics of of the Teuton ».

After the war, the remarks became much more harsh. The ailing Debussy felt powerless, and his final works would be his flags. Alongside the troubling little song « the Christmas of children who know longer have a home » or his forgotten Ode à la France, in which the protest is limpid, the sonatas are patriotic simply by their style. The most explicit sign of commitment may be read on the title page of the first edition, written in old-fashioned calligraphy : « Six sonatas for various instruments composed by Claude Debussy, French musician ».

The first sonata was written between July and August 1915. In the Prologue, the keyboard becomes delicately discreet, achieving this wish of the composer : « let the pianist never forget that he must not fight against the cello but accompany it . Here one should notice, at the beginning and end of the movement, the ductility of the cello phrase is how it coils upon itself. The amazing Sérenade exploits the instrument’s pizzicti, some of them even snapping. First in the lower register, they blend with the piano’s sound, then in the upper register, they bring an enigmatic counterpoint to the keyboards little hammering’s. This piece seems to describe the strange fete, slightly tinged with bitterness, and full of extraordinary rustlings. The finale is less opaque, with its breadth of phrase and Spanish-style rhythms. It is a perilous piece requiring of the cello the feats of an acrobat, quickly going from one register to another.

Debussy composed the second sonata the same year, between September and October. It begins with a Pastorale that might be described as joyfully melancholy, the little episodes which it is made up of being so changeable and contrasted. (We might think of it as a musical transposition of the highly particular atmosphere that Watteau’s paintings are steeped in, a translation of what Debussy called that feeling between laughter and tears.) The interlude is a minuet whose initial slow tempo gradually becomes livelier, while the matter also lightens up. Here one has the same impression as in the first movement : that of a delightful uncertainty difficult to define. The finale disperses or that, lively and the rather joyful despite a few quick-thempered runs from the viola and a few muffled ostinati from the harp over which the flute takes flight.

The third and final sonata was completed in March 1917 at Arcachon, on the Atlantic coast. In the opening allegro, one will especially admire the constant renewal of ideas, the sinuous curve of the discourse and the perfect balance between the two instruments. The intermède should be fantastic and whimsical, as the piano and the violin seem to try out formulas there they do not retain, leading up do something that will not arrive, this is still delightful praise of uncertainty. Just like the finale which is thoroughly devoted to the idea of twirling, « to the simple game of an idea spinning round and round like a serpent biting it’s tale » as Debussy described it.

Dominique Druhen – translated by John Tyler Tuttle

Claude Achille Debussy (1862-1918)
Sonate pour violon et piano
1 Allegro vivo 4’59
2 Intermède (fantasque et léger) 4’09
3 Finale (très animé) 4’24
Tatiana Samouil, violon – David Lively, piano / (p) 2018 indésens – enregistré à Flagey (Belgique)
Sonate pour flûte, alto et harpe
4 Pastorale 6’48
5 Interlude (tempo di minueto) 5’54
6 Finale 4’49
Vincent Lucas, flûte, Lise Berthaud, alto – Marie-Pierre Langlamet, harpe
(p) 2012 indésens – enregistré à au studio Sequenza (Paris – Montreuil)
7 Rhapsodie pour clarinette et piano 7’58
Philippe Berrod, clarinette – Claire Désert, piano
(p) 2012 indésens – enregistré à au studio Sequenza (Paris – Montreuil)
8 Syrinx 2’49
Vincent Lucas, flûte / (p) 2013 indésens – enregistré au temple Saint-Marcel (Paris)
Sonate pour violoncelle et piano
9 Prologue 4’29
10 Sérénade 3’05
11 Finale 3’32
Jérôme Pernoo, violoncelle – Elisabeth Rigollet, piano / (p) 1997 music square – enregistré à Paris
12 Rhapsodie pour saxophone et piano 10’24
Nicolas Prost, saxophone – Laurent Wagschal, piano
(p) 2012 indésens – enregistré au studio Sequenza (Paris – Montreuil)
Danses sacrée et profane pour harpe et quintette à cordes 9’11
13 Danse sacrée 4’47
14 Danse profane 5’00
Marie-Pierre Langlamet, harpe – Quintette à cordes de la Philharmonie de Berlin
(p) 2012 indésens – enregistré à la Philharmonie de Berlin (Allemagne)