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Navona Records

Aug 28, 2020


Violinist Véronique Mathieu and pianist Jasmin Arakawa present Navona Records’ CORTÈGE. The name cortège, or “solemn procession,” covers a vast expanse of meaning — while it most often describes a funeral procession, the term also refers to a joyful wedding procession, or a group that follows a person of importance in their honor. Mathieu and Arakawa balance the solemn and the celebratory in this sensitive, dynamic performance. Exploring the works of four French composers — Claude Debussy, Lili Boulanger, Nicolas Bacri, Francis Poulenc — the album is emotional, refined, and triumphant all at the same time.

The album begins with a trip back to 1917 with Claude Debussy’s Sonata for violin and piano in G minor. Written when the composer was suffering from terminal cancer, a year before his death, he wrote to a friend that “this sonata will be interesting from a documentary point of view and as an example of what may be produced by a sick man in time of war.” Mathieu and Arakawa handle this introspective work with technical precision and grace.

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