From day to night: the Quatuor Ébène triumphantly realise an ambitious programme showcasing music by Dutilleux and Schoenberg
E R A T O
I C S
C L A S S
W A R N E R
P H O T O G R A P H Y
Albums of solo sonatas are nothing unusual, of course, even for Hindemith’s three-dozen-plus catalogue, and there are some collections of those for winds currently listed on the Presto Classical database. However, no rival replicates the five collated here, with the rarer Sonata for Althorn (or tenor horn – not ‘alto horn’, which term is an error – 1943) replacing that for French horn (1939) in the mix. Even if there were, it would be hard to imagine five better-blown accounts of what are among the cream of Hindemith’s instrumental output. Emmanuel Pahud’s rendition of the lovely Flute Sonata (1936) is immaculate in all departments, his tone and grasp of musical flow inviting comparison with Rampal’s pioneering, much-reissued account from the 1950s; Warner Classics’ sound is, of course, immeasurably finer. Much the same holds for the best of the individual rivals, some of which are listed below. BIS’s recordings for Alexander Ogrintchouk in the Oboe Sonata and (rather older) for Knut Sønstevold in the Bassoon Sonata (both 1938) remain strong competitors, though the former is a mixedcomposer programme that will appeal to a different audience to the latter’s all-
Hindemith programme with a wide variety of performers. Leleux and Audin are scarcely less beguiling here than their rivals. CPO’s disc with Ensemble Incanto focuses on Hindemith’s chamber output for clarinet, but Meyer’s new account of the lovely Clarinet Sonata (1939) here is, for my money, the market leader. There is nothing to choose between Vlatkovic´ and Le Sage in the engaging Althorn Sonata compared with Zwart’s and Melnikov’s that I reviewed in 2015. With top-notch sound, Les Vents Français, with Le Sage’s masterly accompaniments, are the pick of the crop: Vive Les Vents’ Hindemith! Guy Rickards Flute Sonata – selected comparison: Rampal, Veyron-Lacroix (10/15R) (ERAT) 2564 61904-4 Oboe Sonata – selected comparison: A & L Ogrintchouk (10/14) (BIS) BIS2023 Clarinet Sonata – selected comparison: Ens Incanto (CPO) CPO999 302-2 Bassoon Sonata – selected comparison: Sønstevold, Pöntinen (3/94) (BIS) BIS-CD159 Althorn Sonata – selected comparison: Zwart, Melnikov (3/15) (HARM) HMC90 5271
Moeran Piano Trioa. Preludeb. Sonata for Two Violinsc. Violin Sonatac a Fidelio Trio (cdDarragh Morgan vn bTim Gill vc bd Mary Dullea pf) with cNicky Sweeney vn Resonus F RES10296 (66’ • DDD)
Writing in the booklet, the Fidelio Trio’s violinist Darragh Morgan and pianist Mary Dullea eloquently describe their strong ties to – and genuine love for – the music of Ernest J Moeran. Belfast-born Morgan got hooked after hearing Vernon Handley’s blistering performances of the magnificent Symphony in G minor with the Ulster Orchestra, while Dullea went on to instigate an annual summer festival of chamber music on County Kerry’s Valentia Island, around 50 miles west of Kenmare (the composer’s Irish base, where he died on December 1, 1950).
Especially valuable here is the superbly articulate and memorably affectionate advocacy lent to the disarming Piano Trio (dating from 1920 and comprehensively overhauled five years later) and which serves to remind afresh just what gloriously lyrical and exuberant invention
66 GRAMOPHONE SHORTLIST 2022
You have no current subscriptions in your account.
Would you like to explore the titles in our collection?
You have no collections in your account.
Would you like to view your available titles?