Afinat Records is releasing a CD of French music for violin and piano by Fauré, Debussy, and Franck. The results are splendid.


Camille Saint-Saëns always championed Gabriel Fauré’s music. When the master first heard the younger composer’s Violin Sonata No. 1 in A major, Op. 13 in 1876, he raved: “This sonata has everything that will seduce the gourmet: novel forms, exquisite modulations, uncommon tone colors, the use of the most unexpected rhythms. And hovering above all this is a magic which envelops the work and brings the masses of ordinary listeners to accept the wildest audacities as something perfectly natural.”

Elegantly hovering between A Major and D Minor throughout its four movements in its thirty-minute duration, the Fauré work provides a perfectly substantial opening for the album with its passionately melodic music.

The Afinat Records release French Violin Sonatas, also includes Claude Debussy’s 1914 one and only violin sonata. César Franck was a Belgian by birth and a Frenchman by choice, and his music straddled Gallic delicacy and Germanic boldness, as evidenced in his 1886 Sonata for violin, his single contribution to the violin and piano genre, a work that places enormous technical demands on the pianist.


All three pieces are given impressively sterling performances by the protean British violinist Jameson Cooper and by the Georgian pianist Ketevan Badridze, who, in addition to her work on the Fauré and the Debussy, courageously conquers the demands of the Franck sonata. The engineering of the CD/download by Jameson Cooper (who also provides the insightful liner notes) is straightforwardly unencumbered.

Based on the very fine impression that the Afinat Records release French Violin Sonatas has made on this listener, future releases by this label, especially when they involve these two artists will be most welcome.

Rafael de Acha © 2023

Cuban-born Rafael de Acha has enjoyed a distinguished career in the arts as a performer, stage director, producer, and educator. He has taught courses on the History of Music at the University of Miami’s Frost School of Music and at Florida International University, and has contributed writings and reviews to and to his blog:  

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