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Rubbra, Fauré & Franck

Rubbra Cello Sonata in G minor
Fauré Cello Sonata No.1 in D minor, Op. 109

Alan Mills Song & Dance for solo cello world premiere
Franck/Delsart) Sonata in A

Raphael Wallfisch cello
John York piano

Kings Place, London 9 January 2011Sunday early evening chamber music concerts run in tandem at Kings Place and at Conway Hall, the London Chamber Music Society's former home.

Wallfisch-York is a well established duo which we have been privileged to review over the years, live and on disc. Indefatigable recording musicians, both players have enviable techniqe and stamina, required for this enterprising programme, a change from the standard fare which tends to dominate music schedules.

The Rubbra sonata is typically individual and thorough in its contrapuntal working out; its recent revival has confirmed its stature. Fauré to follow was daring; it requires great concentration from players and listeners alike, and attracts with the dislocated rhythms which give its particular flavour. The high spot of the evning.

Mills was inspired by an outdoor cello recital in Epping Forest; his small piece for solo cello received an easy welcome and would sound well there too! No modernist tricks or extended techniques, nice to hear and quickly forgotten...

The Franck can go well for cello and Wallfisch retained remarkable control throughout, but on this occasion but York, whose piano had a plethora of notes to deliver in all the sonatas, seemed to tire, with a suspicion of rather autopilot piano playing, relying on his experience and reading skills. The pedalling was not quite refined enough for best effect in a flattering yet treacherous ambience.

Peter Grahame Woolf

See also FribbinsChambermusic

& C.P.E.BachCelloConcertos/Chopin