Another voyage of discovery from this dynamic musical couple

Elena Urioste: Le Temps Retrouvé

The Strad Issue: March 2024

Description: Another voyage of discovery from this dynamic musical couple

Musicians: Elena Urioste (violin) Tom Poster (piano)

Works: Bonis: Violin Sonata. Boulanger: Nocturne. Fauré: Violin Sonata no.2. Hahn: Violin Sonata

Catalogue number: CHANDOS CHAN20275

A year on from their first Chandos release, From Brighton to Brooklyn, musical couple Elena Urioste and Tom Poster have followed up with Le Temps retrouvé, swapping a transatlantic musical survey of the 20th century (albeit slipping in an Amy Beach piece from 1898) with a French slice spanning the 15-year period from 1911.

Fauré’s Violin Sonata no.2, the gateway to his adventurous final sequence of chamber works, is the best-known item. This isn’t the only piece here to show off Urioste’s secure but sweet sound in the upper registers, nor the only one to convey (in the second movement) an atmospheric vision of heaven.

The sonata by Mel Bonis (1858–1937), whose fellow students at the Paris Conservatoire included Debussy and Pierné, is perhaps the most revelatory piece – richly Romantic, with occasional undertones of the composer’s teacher Franck. Urioste makes the most of the first movement’s arching chromatic lines, presenting an effortlessly suave sound; she and Poster also compelling capture its languid mood. The second movement is alert and capricious, the third – a Greek popular song – is spun out from the heart. Hahn’s sonata, the latest piece here, is equally well played, a highlight being the blushingly intimate second movement.

The engineering is first-rate. All else that’s required is a dimly lit room, a sumptuously upholstered armchair and a kir royale.