Connie Shih
Winona Zelenka
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"A beautiful album...

...a satisfyingly textured programme that allows both cellist and pianist to show off their elegant musicianship. Zelenka teases a seemingly infinite range of sounds from her bow, and both artists display a deceptively easy virtuosity.

This record very much deserves to be on any cello lover's playlist." - John Terauds, Musical Toronto, June 2012

This recording is about connections. All four featured composers lived in Paris during the second half of the 19th century and were linked both professionally and personally.

Franck's great Sonata is like capturing and portraying a life in sound. The first movement is a languid, delicate introduction, with only hints of the ecstasy yet to come. The second movement, with its restless virtuosic piano writing, speaks of the passion of youth, full of angst and yearning. The third movement is a contemplative discourse in which moments of quiet desperation balance moments of celestial beauty. The fourth movement is a mature epilogue, growing in joy and excitement until the glorious, triumphant ending.

The Debussy Sonata is short, with abrupt and daring changes in mood and colour. Ideas appear and morph so quickly from one emotional state to the next that one is left with only fleeting impressions.

Chausson's Piéce is a little gem. It's an extremely beautiful and wistful late work - one which needs space to breathe and to sing. Fauré's Papillon, by comparison, is a lightning-fast piece where images seem to appear and disappear - like a mirage.

Winona Zelenka is one of Canada's finest cellists, known for her gorgeous, luminous tone and expressive brilliance. She electrifies audiences with her impeccable musicality, superb technique and elegant style. "Some of the most beautiful singing… came from the cello of Winona Zelenka. Her opening solo…was breathtaking - floating with effortless musicality." - National Post

Connie Shih is considered one of Canada’s most outstanding artists. As soloist, she has appeared extensively with orchestras and solo recitals throughout Canada, U.S. and Europe, Japan and China.

Catalog: MAR 427
Preview or purchase on iTunes Canada USA

Track Listing

Claude Debussy
Sonata for Cello and Piano
1. I: Prologue (Listen)
2. II: Sérénade
3. III: Final

Ernest Chausson
4. Pièce, Op. 39

Gabriel Fauré
5. Papillon, Op. 77

César Franck
Sonata for Cello and Piano
6. I: Allegretto ben moderato
7. II: Allegro
8. III: Recitativo-Fantasia

9. IV: Allegretto poco mosso

Total playing time: 54:15

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