Saint-Saëns was seventy when he composed his Second Cello Sonata. Its energy and power belie the composer’s age. This year is the centenary of his death, it’s hard to believe this quintessential Nineteenth Century composer lived through the first decades of the Twentieth Century. The highlight of this magnificent if sprawling Sonata, is the Romanza, which the composer insisted would bring tears to the eyes of his publisher. He also said the Finale would wake up anyone who had slept through the rest of the piece. It is also the centenary of Fauré’s glorious Second Cello Sonata, also a work by a septuagenarian. The magic of Fauré’s music lies in the luminous, elusive beauty with which their melodies, harmonies and counterpoint interact. As the great pianist, Alfred Cortot, pointed out the true novelty of his scores lay in the quality of the musical texture rather than in any unusual style of writing. This Sonata is also best known for its miraculous slow movement. Discreetly and with no showy effects, Fauré makes time stand still. The music of Janáček always tells a tale. Here it is the story of Tsar Berendey, his son the Tsarevich Ivan, the intrigues of Kastchey the Immortal and the wisdom of Princess Maria, Kastchey’s daughter. What more do you need? A Prince, a Princess and the deadly king of the Underworld?
European Broadcast 8pm Irish Standard Time
North American Broadcast 8pm ET (1am Irish Standard Time)
On Demand will become available after the conclusion of the North American broadcast for 48 hours (19 July 2am – 21 July 2am IST)
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