From the American Federation of Musicians of the United States and Canada

The Complete Chamber Music for Cello and Piano by Pierre de Bréville
Nadine Deleury, Mary Siciliano

Shopping Cart (0)

Your cart is empty!

The cello Sonata was written in 1930 and published in 1931. Stephen Sensbach in his book “French Cello Sonatas 1871-1939” quotes a review by Georges Dandelot of the first performance of the piece which was given on February 14, 1931 at Salle Chopin (Pleyel) in Paris by his dedicatee Gérard Hekking(1879- 1942), cello and Jules Gentil(1898-1985), piano: “The Sonate for cello and piano is in four movements and in a very classical form. The first movement is somber and untamed. The second movement by contrast is smart and alert; it is a well done and successful scherzo. The third movement is slow; it is, along with the preceding, the best of the work: the first calm phrase is of great beauty, the middle is agitated and full of unexpected modulations; it leads directly to the finale, completing a magnificent work which does the greatest honour to its author.” Sensbach then gives his own analysis of the piece: A long solo by the piano begins the first movement, introducing the first theme before the cello enters with soft dynamics in a low register, which then build in rapid steps. The second theme is derived from the first, and the recapitulation explores the syncopations of both themes. The movement ends with a short coda. The second movement is a scherzo in 6/8 time which contains little of the chromaticism of the first movement. The middle section calms down the rapid pace of the opening section, although it retains the rhythmic basis of flowing triplets. Played without a break, the third and fourth movements are thematically related to the first movement, with syncopations across the bar lines and melodic contours that rise and fall in long arching phrases. Throughout the sonata the themes are such that material from one section can be convincingly combined with themes of another. In the ternary third movement, the return of the first theme is extended with material from the middle section. The last movement is in sonatina form, with an exposition of the two themes but no development. Because of the many thematic similarities, the entire sonata is, in a sense, developed out of the original theme. The sonata by Bréville is the last by a student of César Franck. Written when Bréville was seventy years old, it is the final work in this genre by a composer belonging to the generation of musicians whose activities had resulted in such a flurry of cello sonata writing in the years preceding and following the First World War. Although rarely heard even in the 1930s, it is an engaging work that would prove gratifying for performers and audience alike.

Stephen Sensbach (from his book: French Cello Sonatas 1871-1937) (the Lilliput Press LTD, 62-63 Sitric Road, Arbour Hill, Dublin 7, Ireland)

The Fantasie Appassionata for violoncello and piano was published in 1935 and dedicated to the great cellist, Pierre Fournier. It begins in a lyrical D flat major and proceeds to chromatically shift to a stormy “Assez Vite” in C sharp minor. There is an eerie C major section before the composer briefly returns to the original theme and key of D flat major. Pièce features a thin texture with a recurring harmonic fifth in the piano. There is an enchanting modal effect throughout. The shifting meter from duple to triple projects an improvisatory quality. Prière (d’après le Cantique de Molière) for piano or organ and cello or violin or viola is probably a transcription of an organ piece. It was written after a song for voice and piano: Cantique pour le Tricentenaire de Molière (1924 Senart). The cello and piano begin with an incantation and then proceed into long chromatic phrases with a recurring minor third motive. The Poème Dramatique was composed for violoncello and piano in June, 1924. It was premiered on January 24, 1925 by Gérard Hekking and Jules Gentil, the same musicians who premiered the Sonata. The Poème is dedicated to Paul Poujaud.1 The work is prefaced with a quote by Victor Hugo “sans pardon” (Les Châtiments, Livre 7, X) : Tu feras expier à ces hommes leurs crimes, Ô peuple généreux, ô peuple frémissant, Sans glaive, sans verser une goutte de sang, Par la loi ; sans pardon, sans fureur, sans tempête. Sans pardon later became the title of the transcription of this piece for orchestra. It begins with restless agitation in the piano followed by dramatic entrances of the cello. This cello motive of a rising three note scale is exploited throughout the composition by both instruments. The piano’s continuous motion punctuates the great shifts of character and dynamics.

Mary Siciliano

Born in Arras, Nadine Deleury studied at the school of music of her native city with Bernard Fonteny and later at the Paris Conservatory with André Navarra and Maurice Crut and received a scholarship to further study at Yale University (U.S.) with Aldo Parisot. Since 1985 she has been principal cellist of the Michigan Opera Theatre orchestra (at the Detroit Opera House) and leads a career as a chamber musician giving concerts in the Detroit area (including a concert season which she co-founded in 1998 Chamber Music at the Scarab Club) and in her native country. Her discography includes the world premiere recordings of Paul Paray Sonata, the Henri Dallier Trio, works of Ignatz Waghalter and Jacques de la Presle. Noticed by the press for her tone (“… special praise should go to principal cellist Nadine Deleury’s luscious solos…” Free Press, Detroit, “…Deleury’s warm tone was a pleasure to hear…le Grand Tango (Piazzolla) showcased Deleury’s marvelously lush legatos” Kalamazoo Gazette), Nadine never tires to discover the French music of the late 19th, early 20th centuries so rich in cello music and has also been the instigator of commissions from composers such as Americans James Hartway, Elaine Lebenbom, Erik Santos and the French Nicolas Bacri, Pierre Thilloy, Laurent Duvillier.

From the Detroit area, Mary Siciliano leads a multi-faceted career as pianist, clinician, and teacher. She has been honored as “Teacher of the Year” by the Michigan Music Teachers Association. She has an award-winning private studio and has taught at Schoolcraft College and Madonna University. She is currently on the piano faculty at Oakland University in Rochester, Michigan. Mary received her Bachelor of Music degree in piano performance from Michigan State University where she was a full-scholarship student. She received her Master of Music degree from the University of Michigan where she was awarded the Joseph Brinkman Scholarship for excellence in performance. Teachers include Rebecca Frohman, David Renner, Marian Owen, and Eugene Bossart. Her performances have been broadcast on CBC (Canada) and WRCJ (U.S.). Her discography includes the chamber works of Ignatz Waghalter and Jacques de la Presle. She performs throughout Canada and the United States.

Illustration: “Les bords de l'Arize” by Zam

    Track name Time Buy MP3 Buy FLAC
1. Listen Sonate en ré: Agité et Violent 8:11
2. Listen Sonate en ré: Vif et léger 4:36
3. Listen Sonate en ré: Andante 5:32
4. Listen Sonate en ré: Assez animé 6:44
5. Listen Fantaisie Appassionta 8:39
6. Listen Pièce (tr. by Th. Doney) 3:37
7. Listen Prière (d'après le Cantique de Molière) 3:30
8. Listen Poème Dramatique 15:34
Album cover for The Complete Chamber Music for Cello and Piano by Pierre de Bréville

Album Details

Genres: Classical, Chamber Music

Released September 2010