The beautiful recording presented here, whose programme allows us to discover or rediscover more or less unknown scores, has nothing to do with an opportunistic commission, anxious to be part of a fashionable movement; in this case the militant promotion of female composition. Of course, the nobility of such a cause has not escaped the two performers, Clara Danchin and Anna Jbanova, but, more generally, the fervour of their playing imposes above all the idea that it is appropriate to do justice to works that should not be relegated to the rank of simple curiosities.
The museum function of the disc plays its part, but from a perspective that clearly aims to encourage concert performances. There are certain scores, in fact, that were victims of the contrary winds of fate, and Marguerite Canal’s sonata, for example, could not better illustrate this point. I t is well known that the great Enesco was inspired by the work, but his sudden death meant that he was unable to carry out his plan to perform it in public. With regard to this sonata, it is not unimportant to know that Clara Danchin, a professor at the Toulouse Conservatoire, gave very generously of her time in order to explore the archives of the municipal library, thus collaborating on a biography of Pierrette Germain. For me, memories come flooding back from 1970: a brief appearance by an elderly and austere lady in my music teacher’s music room, Berthe Durru. She was introduced to us as a former colleague at the Conservatoire, a Grand Prix de Rome winner and an important composer. Some 50 years later, having consulted photos from that time, I had no difficulty in putting a name to a face that was too quickly glimpsed.
Marguerite CANAL - Sonate pour violon et piano
Clara SCHUMANN - Trois romances op.22
Mel BONIS - Sonate pour violon et piano en fa dièse mineur
Amy BEACH - Romance op. 23
Clara Danchin - violin
Anna Jbanova - piano