Here's your disc of the week for April 7, 2013. Each week CBC Radio 2's In Concert looks at new classical music releases and selects one recording that you'll want to know about.
Artists: Augustin Dumay, violin, and Louis Lortie, piano.
Repertoire: Sonatas for violin and piano by Richard Strauss and César Franck.
After listening to this week's new release, you might be forgiven for thinking that French pianist Augustin Dumay and Montreal-born pianist Louis Lortie were sent to Earth from some orbiting Vulcan planet where they practice the art of mind-melding — the deep and highly personal exchange of telepathic thoughts through which the participants become one.
These two outstanding musicians have been friends and concert collaborators for several years. But this is their first duo release, and it's a beauty. The focus is on music composed by two masters of late 19th-century Romanticism: Richard Strauss, who completed his grand and impassioned Violin Sonata in E-flat in 1887 when he was still in his early 20s and long before making his name as the greatest opera composer of the 20th century, and César Franck, who wrote his popular Violin Sonata in A towards the end of his career in 1886.
They are expansive, engaging works. And on this recording, it's as though Dumay and Lortie have figured out how to breathe in sync, to think, imagine and create as one. Both musicians explore the elegance and poetry in this music without flash or dazzle. They play with the kind of easy virtuosity — a natural classical grace — that never draws attention to itself. Yet it lacks neither vigour nor resolve. These performances are passionate and intense as well as supple and refined. Just dial into the Dumay/Lortie wavelink on this new CD, and you'll discover what we mean.
Listen: Franck: Prélude, fugue et variation en si mineur, Op. 18
Louis Lortie and Helene Mercier: Mozart, Schubert, Ravel
Listen: Winnipeg Symphony with violinist Augustin Hadelich
Louis Lortie performs Liszt: an archival Radio-Canada broadcast with the Montreal Symphony
on Apr 07, 2013