Fauré recording falls short
Fauré's beautiful cello pieces deserve a better outing than this unimaginative and thin recording
Repertoire: Cello Sonatas; Sicilienne; Elégie, et al.
Artists: Ina-Esther Joost Ben-Sasson (cello), Allan Sternfield (piano)
Label: Naxos 8.570545
Fauré’s cello music is among the most sublime in the instrument’s repertoire. The sonatas are late works, often deemed ‘difficult’ yet full of energy, poetry and startling originality. The short pieces, like the Sicilienne and the Elégie, are true classics. They need a knife-edge balance of rigour, poetry and subtle colour. And they deserve much better performances than they’re given here. Ben-Sasson’s tone is thin and unimaginative and her intonation is at times alarmingly shaky. She and Sternfield make a good stab at capturing the composer’s windswept élan, but it’s hard to forgive such basic shortcomings.