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Beatriz Blanco / Federico Bosco: A Mon Ami

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Beatriz Blanco / Federico Bosco: A Mon Ami

Beatriz Blanco on Violoncello
Federico Bosco on Piano

F. Chopin–Sonata for Piano and Cello in G minor, Op. 65.

A. Franchomme–Three themes with variations, Op. 22.

F. Chopin–A. Franchomme–
Grand Duo, from themes of Meyerbeer’s “Robert le diable” in E major.

A. Franchomme–G. Osborne–
Gran duo from a motive of “Anna Bolena”, Op. 23.

F. Chopin–Introduction and Polonesa Brillante in C major, Op. 3.


Dr. Roberta E. Zlokower
July 23, 2017

Odradek is a non-profit, artist controlled label. According to Odradek’s website, “Odradek Records selects its artists solely through the criterion of utmost quality of the recording and the interest of the proposed program. We don’t want to exclude, but rather include.” Its name is sourced from a Kafka short story about a creature whose meaning inspires many interpretations. is a project of two friends, Beatriz Blanco, cellist, and Federico Bosco, pianist. Ms. Blanco performs on a 1720 C. Pierray, Parisian cello, while Mr. Bosco performs on an 1898 Pleyel “double piano”.

This album is a tribute to the deep friendship between Auguste
Franchomme, cellist and composer, and Frédéric Chopin, pianist and composer. The Pleyel piano heard on this recording is significant, because the first four tracks of this album are devoted to Chopin’s 1846 Sonata for Piano and Cello in G minor. Chopin premiered the last three movements of this work at his final public concert in 1848, at the Parisian concert hall, called the Salle Pleyel. Chopin favored the Pleyel pianos. Franchomme, on his cello, joined Chopin onstage in the Sonata premiere, at Chopin’s historical farewell concert. The work was dedicated to Franchomme. Chopin composed only four Sonatas, the other three for solo piano.

A trio of Franchomme’s variations of airs by Donizetti, Beethoven, and Bellini are heard on tracks #5-7. Each has lovely, tonal details and imaginative aural imagery. On track #8, you will hear the Chopin – Franchomme Grand Duo from the Meyerbeer opera, Robert le diable, noted below, and track #9 features the Franchomme (and Osborne) Gran Duo, inspired by the opera, Anna Bolena, also noted below. Track #10 closes this remarkable album with the ravishing Chopin Polonesa Brillante, noted below as well.

Notable tracks:

#4 – ”Finale”, Sonata for Piano and Cello in G minor (1846) – Composed by Frédéric Chopin (1810-1849). This fourth and final movement of Chopin’s Sonata opens like a frenetic keyboard chase scene, with swirling dervish. Ms. Blanco’s sensuous cello exudes yearning repetitions. Mr. Bosco’s Pleyel double piano has stunning sound, and one can only imagine Chopin on his Pleyel in 1848, performing this work in such a weakened condition next to Franchomme, on cello, shortly before his 1849 death from tuberculosis. Mr. Bosco plays with compelling force and clarity. Ms. Blanco’s 300 year-old Pierray cello, as well, has deep, intense soulfulness. Then, at one point, the cello expands toward the upper range of a violin. Balletic rhythms and drama add to this incredible listening experience. This finale ends in fevered instrumental fusion.

#8 – Grand Duo from themes of Meyerbeer’s “Robert le diable” in E major (1833) - Composed by Frédéric Chopin and Auguste Franchomme (1808-1884). Franchomme collaborated with the youthful Chopin to assist him in composing the cello parts of this Grand Duo, based on Mayerbeer’s opera, as Franchomme was a cellist in the Ópera orchestra. The piano introduction extends almost two minutes. Listening to this track, one immediately wishes to hear this music live in concert, as this duo is so musically magnetic. The operatic themes are differentiated for the inherent scenes, yet for pure instrumental listening, the experience is tremendously engaging. I look forward to exploring this opera.

#9 – Gran Duo from a motive of “Anna Bolena” (1841) – Composed by Auguste Franchomme [with George Alexander Osborne (1806-1893)] . Franchomme collaborated on this Gran Duo with the Irish composer-pianist Osborne. Osborne had been a patron of Chopin, during a performance tour by Chopin in England. In operatic fervor and tonal innuendo, Ms. Blanco and Mr. Bosco bring us this theatrical track. The pulsating tempos with percussive inflections are mesmerizing. The finale, as well, is sumptuously operatic, as one can imagine the audience in extended accolades after the final fused aria, here portrayed on the rare and transporting piano and cello.

#10 – Introduction and Polonesa Brillante in C major (1831) – Composed by Frédéric Chopin. This early composition by Chopin was dedicated to the Austrian cellist Joseph Merk, who performed the cello part with Chopin in concert. This was a couple of years prior to Chopin’s meeting Franchomme. The dancelike, swirling imagery is enthralling in the listening experience. Waterfalls of crisp piano notes, like a rushing stream in spring, are rampant throughout this dynamic youthful work. The Polonaise had been composed in 1829, with the Introduction added in 1830. This album will provide many hours of fulfilling and fascinating listening pleasure.

Kudos to Ms. Blanco and Mr. Bosco, and kudos to Odradek.

For more information, contact Dr. Roberta E. Zlokower at