Magnard / Patria / Mezzena - Cello Sonata Op. 20 Piano Trio, Op.18 | RECORD STORE DAY
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Albéric Magnard, born in Paris in 1865, was a pupil of Dubois, Guiraud, Massenet and D'Indy at the Paris Conservatoire, and he frequented the circle of César Franck. In 1896, he became a teacher at Paris's Schola Cantorum. Then, from 1904, he settled in the countryside on his estate at Manoir des Fontaines in Baron (Oise), where he died in 1914, shot by German troops while attempting to defend the property, which was set on fire along with many of his as yet unpublished compositions. In addition to four symphonies, he is also the author of operas, but chamber music is the genre in which he best expressed himself and into which he poured the influence of Beethoven and the counterpoint of the Schola Cantorum. His last chamber work, the Sonata for Cello and Piano Op. 20 is among his most significant compositions. Composed between 1908 and 1910, it is structured in four movements like all his chamber works, betraying his devotion to German contemporaries and in opposition to the French tendency for three movements in symphonies and instrumental compositions. Completed in 1905, the Piano Trio Op. 18 was first performed at the Salle Aéolian in Paris in January 1906. Also in four movements, it presents more measured writing than the Cello Sonata or Violin Sonata. The dialogue between the three instruments is refined and balanced without any break in interaction. These are works by a brilliant composer faithful to tradition. On the whole the music can be described as an innovative and surprising, certainly deserving of wider recognition.