This album celebrates two composers of some of the finest of all French cello music. Saint-Saëns and Fauré, not obvious bedfellows and 10 years apart in age, first met when the former taught the latter piano and composition in Paris in the 1860s. Teacher was 25 years old, pupil 15. The Irish cellist Brian O’Kane has paired their music – predominantly the first sonata by Saint-Saëns and the two by Fauré, with romances and occasional pieces. Shorter favourites are included: Saint-Saëns’s The Swan and Fauré’s Après un rêve. Both players capture the wistful nature of Fauré’s music and the flowing lyricism of Saint-Saëns with unerring elan.
Fauré and Saint-Saëns: Works for Cello and Piano CD review – unerring elan
Brian O’Kane (cello), Michael McHale (piano)
Fiona Maddocks is the Observer's classical music critic. She is the author of Hildegard of Bingen, Harrison Birtwistle: Wild Tracks and Music for Life. Follow her on Twitter: @FionaMaddocks