Informative, historically important and inspiring



Fin de siècle
Various composers & artists
Lawrence Power (viola) & Simon Crawford-Phillips (piano)
Hyperion CDA 68165


Informative, historically important and inspiring
Another marvel from Hyperion. As Hyperion continues to explore uncharted territory, here is a collection of various French composers of the fin du siecle whose works are sometimes difficult to classify. Busser’s Appassionata for viola and kano is not only gloriously performed, but it is a welcome work, the quality of which is barely less than some Saint-Saens pieces.  At the end of the day, fin du siecle was not comprised of Debussy and Ravel only. Debussuy, Chausson and Ravel are all represented in the CD, aptly by their lesser known works, but it is the other composers who attract attention. It must also be mentioned that this is a viola piano album and all the tracks feature these instruments. This is another plus, not only because Lawrence Power and Simon Crawford-Phillips perform general well, but also because the overall sound of the CD becomes something less than expected, with the soaring registry of viola. Back to the pieces performed, Durosoir’s Vitrail, albeit a bit old-fashioned was one of the more interesting pieces, which gives you a firmer idea as to how Debussy and Ravel distinguished themselves from the whole lot of composers around. Enescu is also represented and his Concertstuck is quite possibly the most exciting piece on the disc, that deserves much more publicity. Not all compositions are interesting and Hahn, Hue or Honore’s for that matter, sound virtuosic and too much salon style, but the overall appeal of the CD is not diminished. Here is a fresh one from Hyperion that is highly recommended.

Feyzi Erçin



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