Ina-Esther Joost Ben-Sasson / Allan Sternfield

Fauré: Cello Sonatas; Scilienne; Elégie; Pavane; Papillon

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This disc of Fauré's music for cello and piano is Ina-Esther Joost Ben-Sasson's first for the Naxos label, and it reveals an extremely energetic and soulful player limited by a raw tone and rough technique. Ben-Sasson's passionately aggressive approach works best in the fast outer movements of the two sonatas, where sufficient speed and force can compensate, to a certain extent, for many missed notes. It works less well in the sonatas' central slow movements, and least well in some of the other works , particularly an overly ardent Sicilienne, and a restless performance of Casals' transcription of the chanson, Après un rêve. Least successful altogether is the closing Pavane in Busser's arrangement, which has more lumps than cold oatmeal. Dutifully supported by pianist Allan Sternfield and recorded in rather too forward sound, this disc is unlikely to satisfy fans of the French late Romantic's limpid lyricism.

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