PAUL LADMIRAULT (1877-1944)
The complete sonatas
Violin Sonata (1931)
Cello Sonata (1939)
Yvan Chiffoleau (cello)
Jacques Lancelot (clarinet)
Robert Plantard (piano)
rec 1980 ADD
SKARBO SK 4952
Ladmirault, like Ropartz and Lazzari, was a Breton first and foremost. The
subjects he chose were often regional and north-western in inspiration. There
is a Suite Bretonne (1903), the opera Myrddhin (1902) and incidental music
for Tristan et Iseult (1929). The Rapsodie Gaelique (1909) was recorded by
Beyer and Dagul. He studied with Gedalge and Faure in Paris but otherwise
was based in Nantes, his birthplace. Ladmirault was the dedicatee of Peter
Warlock's Capriol Suite. He and his wife were trapped in the Saint-Nazaire
'Pocket' during the Allied assault and sadly he died before the Liberation.
Jacques Lancelot has a somewhat liquid tone about which I have reservations.
A cleaner sound would, to my ears, have been preferable. Robert Plantard
(excellent throughout) accompanies with alertness and complements the coyly
cheeky stance struck by the clarinet part in the Allegro. The Intermède
and Andante might be Breton counterparts of the more restful Finzi bagatelles
but the tunes are not as memorable. The Finale is decidedly Caledonian in
the lie and skip of its themes. This should come as no surprise as he included
Scottish melodies in his Gaelic Suite.
The Cello Sonata might easily appeal to anyone who has a special affection
for the Dvorak Cello Concerto. Its flow has the same impress of ease and
poignancy. This is further evinced in the central andante which sings with
effortless flow. The finale runs with golden melody with an inflection of
Rachmaninov and with the vitality of dance.
The Violin Sonata's first movement (there are four) flows in ecstatic effusion
like the Delius Cello Sonata. It recalled for me the Cyril Rootham Violin
Sonata, also dating from the 1930s. After a skipping and rippling scherzo
comes a softly singing andante sounding like a blend of early Delius and
mature Dvorak. A cheeky toe-tapping Rondo races away in elegant but
never civilised abandon.
Brief notes provide some background. A great deal more could have been said.
A good disc strong in the two string sonatas. Recommended.