Violin, piano duo Fauchet, Auriol shine

March 04, 1997|By David Donovan | David Donovan,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

The repertoire of 20th century French music received a persuasive presentation Sunday afternoon from the violin-and-piano duo of Adele Auriol and Bernard Fauchet as part of the Chamber Music Society of Baltimore series.

The program commenced with Olivier Messiaen's "Theme et variations," one of the composer's more subtle scores and one strongly influenced by Debussy. Auriol perfectly spun the variations in a brilliant arc that kept the momentum throughout the score. Her partner was a perfect match, never covering the violin line.

The two works that closed the first half were played with equal fire and drive, but neither work measured up to that of the opening piece.

The "Profils d'ombres" by Antoine Tisne was more like a catalog of violin pizzicato and bowing effects than an actual musical composition. The piano writing was dull and uninvolving.

More successful was "From Time to Time" by Eugene Kurtz. Auriol and Fauchet were persuasive in a work that combined the 12-tone style of Schoenberg with minimalistic repetitions in a dizzying and relentless set of permutations.

The score was dedicated to the artists by the composer and their interpretation had the stamp of definitive authority.

The second half opened with music by the late Robert Hall Lewis. His three-movement "Nuances" is a string of moderate tempi night music pieces. Fauchet played it with a ghostly justice.

This listener was not totally convinced with the banging and the thumping Lewis tasks his musicians with in this work, but fortunately the effects were used sparingly. Most of the work had an almost Bartokian despair, which Auriol and Fauchet perfectly caught.

The formal part of the program ended with a knockout Ravel Sonata in G major. This three-movement work has a central blues theme, which the duo played to the hilt. The piano writing is almost orchestral and Fauchet had no problems revealing the delights in this music. Violinist Auriol was equally masterful and the final perpetual motion movement was glorious.

The small but appreciative audience was treated to a very elegant encore as Auriol and Fauchet came back with a touching "Meditation" from the opera "Thais" by Jules Massenet.

Auriol gave a glowing but not overly sentimental account that lent the music more depth and nuance.

Pub Date: 3/04/97

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