The cello sonatas of César Franck (perhaps originally written for violin but well known and approved by the composer in this version) and Frédéric Chopin are, despite the structural intricacies of the Franck, arch-Romantic works. There are plenty of readings that treat them as exactly that (and the specific pairing has been done fairly often), but cellist Gautier Capuçon and pianist Yuja Wang are after something different. Call it a Paris Conservatory reading, or perhaps a classical French interpretation, meant for small rooms rather than for virtuoso appearances in concert halls. Such a thing fits in well with Wang's attempts to develop herself as a chamber music player as she approaches middle age, and it is the piano passages, highly restrained, that strike the listener in the finale of the Franck and the sprawling first movement of the Chopin, but the two players are very much in coordination. The graphics, with Capuçon in evening wear and Wang in fashionable leather, might suggest contrasting approaches, but the two players have performed this music together in the past, and as chamber music-making, what they do is unimpeachable as long as you're on board with the basic approach. Capuçon and Wang add something new to the works' chain of interpretation.
AllMusic Review by James Manheim
|Cello Sonata in A FWV 8|
|Cello Sonata in G minor Op. 65|