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Jim Westhead
MusicWeb International, July 2019

An important recording. © 2019 MusicWeb International Read complete review

Records International, July 2019

The rarely recorded sonata (1908) is a Franckian Gothic cathedral of a piece, intricately developing motifs, exhibiting all the contrapuntal skills one could ask for, demanding a virtuoso pianist without ever sounding like a virtuoso piece and leaving you 43 minutes later with the feeling that there’s a lot you missed which you’ll have to go back for again and again. © 2019 Records International

David Denton
David's Review Corner, June 2019

Born in 1851, Vincent d’Indy was one of the most highly respected among French conductors, teachers and composers, though today he is largely forgotten. He added works to every sector of classical music, including operas and incidental scores for plays, but in all he steered a path well away from the Impressionists who had taken over the progressive French style. His piano output was modest, but he did offer a substantial Sonata, one of the few written by French composers during the first part of the nineteenth century. Though in three movements, it was unusual in being constructed in quite small fragments, a factor that is made more obvious on this release by having tracks that can take you into any part of that construction. The shape is immediately evident by having an opening movement in the form of a theme followed by four variations, that basic idea permeating the remainder of the score. Here it lasts over forty minutes, and makes demands on the performer to fashion a score that is well knitted together. Here are rare recording of the works entrusted to Jean-Pierre Armengaud, and I could not think of a present day performer who I would more surely entrust with the project, the shape of the score fashioned without, at any time, loosing a feeling of continuity that take us inexorably forward to a closing mood of quiet repose. The disc is completed by seven of the thirteen Tableaux de Voyage—nos. 1, 3, 4, 5, 11, 12 and 13—each one evoking walks that he made in the German countryside, from the ‘Pastureland’, through ‘The Death Knell’, the patter of ‘The Rain’ and to the final ’Dream’ where the dreamer briefly has a nightmare. To add a degree of interest, the Sonata was recorded in the Chateau des Faugs, Ardeche in France, the house built for d’Indy, and where he composed the Sonata. The recorded sound is exemplary. © 2019 David’s Review Corner

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