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CD Review

Après un rêve

KNS 34
  • Joly Braga Santos: Duas Ârias for Cello & Piano, Op. 2 & Op. 57
  • Fernando Lopes-Graça: Três Inflorescências for Solo Cello
  • Quase Prelude
  • Quase Aria
  • Quase Danca
  • Gabriel Faure:
  • Élégie for Cello & Piano, Op. 24
  • Sicilienne for Cello & Piano, Op. 78
  • Après un rêve for Cello & Piano, Op. 7 #2
  • Robert Schumann: Fantasiestücke for Cello & Piano, Op. 73
Fernando Costa, cello
Luis Costa, piano
KNS Classical KNSA/034 45:28
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These are, for the most part, short, gentle and even beautiful pieces, beautifully played. There is one surprisingly sharp attack near the end of one quiet piece, and the dance is not meant to be light-footed. The final piece in the Schumann is marked "quick and fiery" (Rasch und mit Feuer).

For those unfamiliar with Portuguese music, the Costa brothers give us a welcome introduction to two significant composers from their country in the first half of this relatively short release. Joly Braga Santos (1924-1988) – whose name and works are listed under two forms on ArkivMusic – wrote at least five symphonies, four of which have been recorded by Naxos and Marco Polo, as well as several concertos. Braga Santos leads off this disc with two arias. Fernando Lopes-Graça (1906-1994) also has a few recorded concertos to his credit, as well as quite a number of other works in various forms. This sample makes me curious to hear the major works by both composers.

The three beautiful pieces by Faure are well known everywhere. The third of these, Après un rêve, was written as a vocal work with piano accompaniment, but here, as indicated, is played in an arrangement by the great Pablo Casals.

The Fantasiestücke, Op. 73 by Schumann, is also an arrangement, this time originally for clarinet and piano. In three movements, it resembles, particularly in one section, Schumann's later Fünf Stücke im Volkston.

The Costas are both excellent musicians, and they have produced some pleasurable listening.

Copyright © 2016, R. James Tobin