1846, last year at NohantHarmonia Mundi, 2015
Emmanuelle Bertrand cello
Pascal Amoyel piano
1846: the last summer that Chopin was to spend on George Sand’s estate at Nohant, where he had composed or completed the core of his œuvre over a period of seven years. That summer saw the birth of his last miniatures and of some more ambitious pieces: the Barcarolle, the Nocturnes op.62a, and of course the Cello Sonata, the very last work published in his lifetime. Pascal Amoyel and Emmanuelle Bertrand plunge us into the heart of those few months before the couple’s separation; the ailing Chopin did not yet know that he was leaving his musical testament.
CHOPIN, Frédéric (1810 - 1849)
Barcarolle in F sharp, op. 60
3 Mazurkas, op. 63
Sonata for cello in g, op. 65
Waltzs, op. 64
Mazurka, op. 67 n°4
Nocturnes, op. 62
James Manheim, All Music, May 2015
[...] the performances here are very fine. Bertrand and Amoyel deliver a deceptively laidback performance of the Cello Sonata that brings out the structure of the first movement, which so puzzled Chopin's contemporaries; the germ of all the material in the opening melody is clearly traced. Amoyel on his own brings a sense of exhaustion to the two nocturnes, but does not try to impose it on music where it doesn't belong. Read full article
Andrew Clements, The Guardian, February 2015
Their performance manages to fashion a perfectly lucid path through the musical thickets of the sonata’s first movement, which can sometimes seem too overloaded with invention. If the other three movements are more straightforward, the two players never forget that this is a work for musical equals, and the give and take between them is exemplary [...] The rest of the disc is devoted to solo piano pieces, and in the most part Amoyel’s playing of those is equally perceptive.[…] especially the otherworldly magic of the two nocturnes Op 62, with their effortlessly sustained melodies and unexpected harmonic side-slips. It’s a lovely anthology, beautifully thought out and always executed with perceptive care.
Wolfram Goertz, RP online, April 2015
Amoyel ist ein erstklassiger Pianist, bescheiden, aber nicht blass, mitnichten ein Angebertyp. Für die Barcarolle findet er einen großen Atem, die Nocturnes bauschen sich zart melancholisch, in den Mazurken kann man hören, was Robert Schumann meinte, als er über sie sagte: Sie seien "unter Blumen eingesenkte Kanonen [...] Mit Bertrand findet Amoyel in der herrlichen Cellosonate eine wundervolle Balance - beide lieben das Werk erkennbar, schlachten es aber nicht aus. Es liegt eine elegische Noblesse über ihrem Spiel, die dem Werk sehr gut ansteht. Es wird allenfalls zart gesägt, es finden keine Rodungsarbeiten statt.
Bruce Reader, The Classical Reviewer, February 2015
There is something that is indefinable that makes this very fine Chopin playing indeed. Amoyel brings a kind of improvisatory yet wholly thought out approach making phrases seem unexpected. With No. 2 in E major, again Amoyel reveals just what is so special in these late works. There is a thoughtfulness, the most wonderful twists and turns, all beautifully laid out in playing of such fine sensitivity, fluency and style [...] This is a release not to be missed.
Emmanuelle Bertrand, cello
Pascal Amoyel, piano
Label Harmonia Mundi, Mars 2015
Vallouise (05), France
La Roque d'Anthéron, France
Festival international de la Roque d'Anthéron