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Pierre's Tuesday Blog

Once Upon the Internet: Fauré/Franck: Cello Sonatas

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Sometimes, I have presented CDs cover-to-cover on Once Upon the Internet, and this month’s installment is one of those occasions, featuring a 1987 CD I downloaded from MP3.COM more than 10 years ago.

The CD features a then 20-year old Shauna Rolston accompanied by pianist Menahem Pressler in a chamber recording of two of the most popular French sonatas (the sonatas in A by Gabriel Fauré and César Franck), but transcribed for the cello.

Shauna Rolston is one of Canada’s finest cellists. Raised in a musical family – her dad Thomas was concertmaster and associate conductor of the Edmonton Symphony and her mother Isobel is a pianist, accompanist and longtime harpist of the same orchestra. A precocious talent, she began studying the cello at the age of three, and by age eight gave her first cello recital. She participated regularly in cello master classes, studying in Banff with Zara Nelsova, János Starker, Tsuyoshi Tsutsumi, and Gabriel Magyar, and in Europe with Pierre Fournier at the Geneva Conservatory and William Pleeth at the Britten-Pears School, Aldeburgh.

Rolston is an advocate for new music, and has premiered a number of works written for her. Composers who have written for her include Kelly-Marie Murphy, Heather Schmidt, Oskar Morawetz, Bruce Mather, Christos Hatzis and Chan Ka Nin, as well as Krzysztof Penderecki, Gavin Bryers, Mark Anthony Turnage, Rolf Wallin, Augusta Read Thomas, Karen Tanaka, and Gary Kulesha.

In 1994 Shauna Rolston joined the music faculty of the University of Toronto where she is a Professor and Head of the String Department. She is also a regular Visiting Artist for the Music and Sound Programs at the Banff Centre.

Although she has played in chamber and orchestral settings in Korea, Japan, Canada, Europe, and the USA, her discography is rather modest. Indeed, this 1987 recording and a handful of CBC Record releases (with the CBC Radio Orchestra and Calgary Philharmonic) pretty much sum up her recorded output. The same cannot be said of her recital partner on this CD, Menahem Pressler, a founding member of the Beaux Arts Trio. In addition to recording nearly the entire piano chamber repertoire with the Beaux Arts Trio for Philips, Menahem Pressler has compiled over thirty solo recordings, ranging from the works of Bach to Ben Haim. Last I heard, at almost 90 years of age, Mr. Pressler is still active as a recitalist.

Jules Delsart's arrangement for cello and piano of César Franck's Violin Sonata in A major was sanctioned by the composer, and has become a standard part of the cello repertoire. Ms. Rolston plays her own transcription for cello of the Fauré sonata.

César FRANCK (1822 - 1890)
Sonata for Violin and Piano in A major, FWV 8
Transcribed: Jules Delsart

Gabriel FAURE (1845 - 1924)
Sonata for Violin and Piano no 1 in A major, Op. 13
Transcribed: Shauna Rolston

Shauna Rolston (Cello), Menahem Pressler (Piano)
Venue: Rutgers Presbyterian Church, NYC (June 1987)
Summit Records DCD-109

Downloaded from MP3.COM ca. 2001

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April 19 2013, "I Think You Will Love This Music Too" will feature a new podcast "C'est féérique" at its Pod-O-Matic Channel . Read more April 19 on the ITYWLTMT Blogspot blog.

Updated Apr-16-2013 at 10:20 by itywltmt

Classical Music , Musicians , Recorded Music