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Posted October 1, 2010
Ben-Sasson and Sternfield take a no-nonsense approach and pretty much play these pieces by the book, whereas the previous release with Maria Kliegel and Nina Tichman had a slightly more adventurous flare. In this latest release, Ben-Sasson's cello is reserved and subdued, while Sternfield mainly plays the support role. It's not quite academic, yet it gives the whole album a more serious feel overall. This is not a bad thing, quite the contrary, because it complements the previous album and its relative looseness. For me personally, having the two different performances to compare shows the depth of interpretations that can be made.
That having been said, this particular album would be a great introduction to Fauré because of this steady, hands-on approach. It captures the essence of the music without straying too far, allowing the listener to branch out from there. Add to the fact that this is a complete rendering of his output for cello, and you have a fantastic starter for the rest of his chamber music.