Listen all tracks :
|Quatuor en Si-bémol majeur|
|01. Moderato (6:50)||0.99|
|02. Intermezzo (5:32)||0.69|
|03. Andante (6:31)||0.69|
|04. Final. Allegro ma non troppo (4:42)||0.69|
|Quatuor en ré majeur|
|05. Moderato (6:36)||0.69|
|06. Andantino (5:02)||0.69|
|07. Lent (6:31)||0.69|
|08. Finale. Allegro (3:52)||0.69|
|Deux pièces pour violoncelle et piano|
|09. Méditation (2:38)||0.69|
|10. Sérénade (3:37)||0.69|
Total Time 52:29
Mel Bonis composed in 1903-1905, 1920 and 1927 important works of chamber music. Sonatas, trios, quartets, a septet, which stand comparison with the works of the best composers of her time. Saint-Saens, after having heard the first quartet, exclaimed: "I could never have thought that a woman was able to compose such a music!"
This first quartet, written in 1905 and dedicated to Jean, the son of Gounod, associates passion, charm, tenderness in a masterly musical form, where the beauty of the themes, the originality of the harmonic sequences exploit subtly the possibilities of each instrument.
At the beginning of the first movement the theme is exposed by the alto, then taken up by the violin, cello and piano and continued in a constant dialogue full of contrast and without weakness. After this Moderato a light and fluid Intermezzo offers extremely refined developments which require virtuoso techniques from the musicians. The Andante, inward and dramatic, opens the way to the Final Allegro, which is imbued with "virile" strength and is particularly rousing.
Das second quartet with piano, written much later, in 1927, does not seem to have been composed by a seventy years old woman. Full of vitality, passion and imagination, it is in contrast with the image of the old bedridden lady, remembered by her descendants. The beginning is a quiet and religious choral followed by an energetic and moving Più vivo finishing again in a meditative tone. The second movement, Allegretto, is a light embroidery full of surprises, accents and ruptures, necessitating a great technical mastery from the performers. Mel Bonis titled the third movement by Slow, calm and contemplative. The piano accompanies an immense phrase played by the violin, and then the instruments communicate in a tight and subtle overlapping which ends like in a dream. The Finale. Allegro, full of energy and passion leads to a radiant conclusion.
The two pieces for cello and piano, Méditation (1898) and Sérénade (1899), though palm court music, are remaquably well written compared to similar music of that time. They complete the portrait of a woman composer who was able to conceive music for relaxation with elegance.