Following their triumphant Casals Encores disc, Alban Gerhardt and Cecile Licad are reunited for Fauré’s music for cello and piano. The two cello sonatas are among the masterpieces of the cello repertoire, looking back to the 19th century but also with an edginess that may well reflect the time in which they were written—during and immediately after the First World War.
Alongside the sonatas are some of Fauré’s most seductive bon-bons, including the famous Sicilienne and Élégie, and the so-called Papillon (so-named at his publisher’s insistence, much to Fauré’s annoyance who hated fluffy titles).
British music critic Andrew Clements wrote that Gerhardt’s account of Fauré’s two cello sonatas, both late works, repay careful listening. “Like the works themselves, his playing and that of the pianist Cecile Licad is full of subtleties, the half-tones and inflections that make the chamber music of Fauré’s final decade so elusive and fragile. Nothing here is forced or made to conform; whether it’s the urgent outpourings of the first movement of the D minor Sonata Op 109 or the utterly different slow movement of the G minor Op 117, the pacing seems perfectly natural, the colouring distinctive.”
Another British music critic, Jeoffrey Norris, wrote : “A gorgeous performance of the well-known Élégie comes as the first of the five ‘encores’ on this magnificent disc devoted for the most part to Fauré’s two cello sonatas, the D minor, composed in 1917, and the G minor from 1921. The passion and sorrowful rapture that Alban Gerhardt and Cecile Licad bring to the Élégie are complemented by the yearning ardour of a Romance, the virtuoso flutter and bustle of Papillon, the lyrical sweep of the Sérénade and the delicate lilt of the Sicilienne, which is also familiar in orchestral guise. Of the Licad-Gerhardt team up in Casals Encore CD, the critic noted: “They make a particularly fine duo here, working emotionally in unison, sensing the music’s contours with like mind, breathing as one.”
Also in the Casals Encore CD is the rendering of Saint-Saens Dying Swan which cellist Wilfredo Pasamba and Licad will interpret live March 17-18 with prima ballerina Lisa Macuja-Elizalde at the CCP main theater.
Also available once again are limited copies Licad’s Chopin, Ravel and Gottschalk recordings.
Licad is all all set for her first team up with prima ballerina Lisa Macuja, Broadway star Lea Salonga with the Filharmonika orchestra under the baton of Gerard Salonga on March 17, 8 p.m. at the CCP main theater. Limited orchestra center and left seats at P7,000 each including parterre boxes at P5,000 still available.