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Jerry Dubins
Fanfare, March 2014

If Fanny Clamagirand impressed me in Volume 1 of Saint-Saëns’s mostly music transcribed for violin and piano, I’m awed by her in Volume 2. She has technique to burn, her high notes are silver-toned, her intonation is true; she plays with high spirits, vivacity, and panache in the up-tempo, upbeat music, and with serious, sensitive, and affectionate demeanor in the slower, emotive music. Pianist Vanya Cohen is Clamagirand’s coequal in every way. The recording leaves nothing to be desired, and the program contains over an hour’s worth of wonderful works, some of them not heard that often, especially in violin and piano versions.

…this new release at hand is enthusiastically recommended, and without a single reservation. © 2014 Fanfare Read complete review

Elaine Fine
American Record Guide, March 2014

The musicians are excellent. They have a wonderful rapport as a duo and a lovely feeling for Saint-Saens’s music. © 2014 American Record Guide Read complete review on American Record Guide

David Milsom
The Strad, February 2014

The balance of Vanya Cohen’s sensitive but at times powerful piano playing…as well as Clamagirand’s wonderful litheness and clarity won me over immediately. All of the performances are good—the Suite, for instance, is full of vitality and interest, with delicacy in its Romance and great declamation in its finale. The Second Sonata, as epitomised by its third movement, is full of variety, from a weightlessness and experimental non-vibrato mystery to a fun fugue. And the smaller pieces are beautifully shaped: the Méditation has some wonderful top notes, but the star of the show for me…is The Swan—rescued from being a potboiler and given an extraordinarily yearning quality here in a version for violin and piano.

…this disc delivers sensuous playing of the highest standard. © 2014 The Strad Read complete review

Terry Robbins
The WholeNote, January 2014

French violinist Fanny Clamagirand is joined by her regular duo partner, pianist Vanya Cohen in the second volume of Saint-Saëns Music for Violin and Piano…The main works here are the Suite in D Minor, Op 16 and the Violin Sonata No 2 in E-Flat Major, Op 102…A short Méditation and two works originally for cello—the Romance in C Major, Op 48, and The Swan—round out the CD.

Clamagirand and Cohen have exactly the right mix of technical bravura and musical insight to make these works sound terrific. © 2014 The WholeNote Read complete review

David Denton
David's Review Corner, September 2013

This is the second volume in the complete Saint-Saëns music for violin and piano that Fanny Clamagirand is adding to her acclaimed recordings of the concertos. With the heavyweight composers now in the ascendency, the easy-going charm of Saint-Saëns has been slipping out of concert programmes, though even as a steadfast enthusiast I would have to acknowledge that his output was uneven. That is apparent in the disc’s opening Suite in D minor, originally composed for cello and piano, but then orchestrated and published as an alternative for violin and piano. In five movements that show how he could do a great deal with such little material, the melody of the fifth movement Romance is used in every permutation possible, while he manages to write a finale without any thematic substance at all. At the age of seven he started to write a Violin Sonata which apparently reached no further than a movement and a fragment of a scherzo. Fifty-four years later came the Second Violin Sonata, a work that, like the First Sonata, reflects the composer’s career as a concert pianist, the violin often doing little more than decorating the part given to the keyboard. That is particularly true of a wispy scherzo that comes in the footsteps of Mendelssohn, before Clamagirand’s nimble left hand dances through the mercurial finale. The remaining tracks are ‘fillers’ ending with a violin and piano version of La Cygne from Carnival of the Animals. Clamagirand’s 1700 Matteo Goffriller violin has that limpid tonal quality so ideal for the composer, and with Vanya Cohen a responsive partner, this well recorded disc is to be much recommended. © 2013 David’s Review Corner

Jacques Bonnaure

We find again the same qualities of Fanny Clamagirand: delicacy and agility of the sound, immaculate tone, mastery of expression. These sonatas equal and even surpasses in subtlety any other existing version © Classica

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