The wanderings of exiled Czech composer Bohuslav Martinu can be traced in the history of his three cello sonatas. The anguished First was written in 1939 and premiered in Paris in 1940 after the fall of France that precipitated the composer's departure from France for Portugal. The lyrical Second from 1941 was composed in Jamaica, Long Island, in 1941 and premiered in New York in 1942 after the composer and his wife had left Portugal for the United States. And the radiant Third was written in the south of France in 1952 and premiered in America while the composer and his wife were awaiting re-admittance to the now communist Czechoslovakia.
All three works receive powerful and persuasive performances from the Wick/Devoyon duo. German cellist Tilmann Wick has a strong tone, a supple technique, and a lyrical sense of phrasing, while French pianist Pascal Devoyon is both a sensitive accompanist for and a full partner to Wick. Together, their ensemble is muscular but polished, their playing is passionate but controlled, and their interpretations are dedicated but balanced. Martinu's characteristic rhythmic drive, elastic forms, brilliant colors, intense drama, and ecstatic lyricism are all fully represented in their performances, and anyone who enjoys Martinu's music need not hesitate. Recorded in super audio digital in 2005, Audite's sound is effortlessly natural.