Cello Sonata No.2 in a minor
Ropartz's Cello Sonata No.2 in a minor dates from 1919. It is in three movements and opens, after a very short Lent introduction, with a very romantic and intensely lyrical Ardent. In the slow movement, Lent et calme, the mood is one of somewhat sad and reflective nostalgia. The finale begins with a very short Très Lent introduction which leads to a robust and lively Assez animé, the main theme to which is based on a folk dance from Brittany, Ropartz's birthplace,
Joseph-Guy Ropartz (1864-1955) was born in Guingamp, Côtes-d'Armor in the French province of Brittany. He studied composition at the Paris Conservatory with Théodore Dubois and Jules Massenet, and organ with César Franck. He enjoyed a long career as both a teacher and a conductor. Ropartz was associated with the Breton cultural renaissance of the era, setting to music the words of several Breton writers. His musical style was influenced by Claude Debussy and Cesar Franck. However he identified himself as a Celtic Breton rather than a Frenchman. He wrote in most genres and devoted considerable time to chamber music penning six string quartets.
This late romantic cello sonata is interesting in that it draws hardly at all on French impressionism and is fresh and original sounding. Out of print for many years, it is with pleasure that we reintroduce it.