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Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Robert Casadesus and Henri Dutilleux, Selected Piano Works, Cicilia Yudha

Robert Casadesus (1899-1972) and Henri Dutilleux (1916-2003)--French contemporaries with varying degrees of association with the piano, give us some very substantial and lively post WWII works on this very attractive CD by pianist Cicilia Yudha (Navona 6053). Casadesus' "Sonata No. 3, Op. 44" matches up well with Dutilleux's "Sonate Pour Piano" with their neo-classical animated elegance and concentrated impact. Casadesus's "Toccata" similarly compares fittingly with Dutilleux's "Blackbird" and "Au Ore des Ondes: 6 Petites Pieces Pour Piano" for immediate charm and playful lyricism that in time reveals depth.

Cicilia Yudha gives the works a sparkling lightness with serious underpinnings--poetic graciousness and exploratory movement.

It's the sort of album that serves admirably as a break between heavier listening. Its French luminescence has a progressive modern edge and a natural quality that sounds unforced and straightforwardly direct without seeming in any way incidental.

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