Cello Sonata in A major Op.80

Composer: Charles-Marie Widor (b. 1844 - d. 1937)
Share :


Composer: Charles-Marie Widor (b. 1844 - d. 1937)

Performance date: 07/07/2016

Venue: St. Brendan’s Church

Composition Year: 1907

Duration: 00:27:25

Recording Engineer: Richard McCullough, RTÉ lyric fm

Instrumentation Category:Duo

Artists: José Gallardo - [piano]
Adrian Brendel - [cello]

Widor is best-known for his series of organ symphonies and his long service of
64 years as organist of St Suplice in Paris. On the death of Franck in 1890 he
became Professor of organ at the Conservatoire. Through his teachers he could
trace his organ lineage all the way back to Bach. Subsequently he became
Professor of composition and his pupils included Vierne, Honneger, Nadia
Boulanger, Varèse, and Milhaud. By all accounts he was a magnificent teacher
with an encyclopaedic knowledge of all art-forms, not just his own. He inspired
both loyalty and affection in his students; Varèse wrote that he was human, unpretentious and open-minded, and
had a sense of humour.
At the outbreak of the Great War, Widor was put in
charge of supervising the removal of 766 of the Louvre’s finest treasures to a
safe location in Toulouse as Paris expected a second German invasion.

Cello Sonata is a big powerful work
in three movements with a glorious succession of melodies and brimming with
ideas. It opens with a rippling piano accompaniment that leads to the first of
the cello’s many gorgeous themes. The second idea is announced in an almost
aggressive manner but it is soon mollified and is worked into the rhapsodic
nature of this movement. The Andante
is a subtly worked set of variations. The Allegro
vivace Finale
is an intricate juggling of 5/4 and 4/4 time requiring
increasing virtuosity from the two players. Towards the end the music slows
almost to a halt before a whirlwind coda flies through the final bars.