Bréville & Canteloube: Violin Sonatas

Bréville & Canteloube: Violin Sonatas

Philippe Graffin (violin), Pascal Devoyon (piano)


The enterprising Philippe Graffin and Pascal Devoyon continue their Odyssey through the byways of the French repertoire with two enchanting discoveries for violin and piano.

Joseph Canteloube is remembered these days almost exclusively for a bouquet of songs drawn from his five cycles of Chants d’Auvergne; Pierre de Bréville, much lauded during his lifetime, does not even have Canteloube’s one-work-composer status to keep his name before the public. Both deserve better.

Bréville’s Violin Sonata No 1 in C sharp minor, the first of five, was composed in 1918/9. Premiered by George Enescu, this is a good-humoured work, combining the lyricism of Fauré and Chausson with a personal freshness of style to make an appealing, and highly original, whole.

Canteloube wrote his suite Dans la montagne early in his career – and its very spontaneity makes for a striking contrast with Bréville’s predilection for complexity of form. Written under the attentive guidance of Vincent d’Indy, the suite perfectly encapsulates the atmosphere of a summer evening in the foothills of the composer’s beloved Auvergne.

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