Fauré: Complete Chamber Music for Strings and Piano

Fauré: Complete Chamber Music for Strings and Piano

by Quatuor Ebène

CD

Overview

Virgin Classics assembled an all-star team of chamber musicians to put together this five-disc set of Gabriel Fauré's complete music for strings and piano. Only the "String Quartet, Op. 121," by the Quatuor Ebène, was previously released. Fauré's chamber music -- with the exception of a couple of short works for cello and piano -- isn't as well known outside of France as that of Debussy and Ravel, although the two piano quartets are widely admired. The first one, in particular, has some delightful and memorable passages. His music is lush, lyrical, and full of heart-on-sleeve emotion; in other words, very traditionally romantic, but the harmonies are uniquely his and presage those that Debussy and Ravel would use. The musicians here -- Renaud and Gautier Capuçon, Michel Dalberto, Nicholas Angelich, Gérard Caussé, and the Quatuor Ebène -- all play with great enthusiasm and sympathy for this music in all of its aspects, which is the best one can hope for in any performance. However, the sound of the recordings rings hollow, leaving a disconnect between the string instruments and the piano. Fauré frequently contrasts the musical texture in the strings against that of the piano simultaneously. In the works for just violin or cello and piano it's all too easy to imagine the pianist is playing something completely separate. The larger groupings (the trio, the quartets and quintets) are better, but the greatest sense of cohesive ensemble work is in the "String Quartet," which also has a warmer ambience. While it is nice to have almost all of Fauré's chamber music in one set, played by musicians who understand it well, this set falls short of being ideal because of the sound quality.

Product Details

Release Date: 10/18/2011
Label: Erato
UPC: 5099907087523
catalogNumber: 70875

Tracks

  1. Morceau de lecture (Allegro Moderato), for 2 cellos
  2. Piano Quintet No. 2 in C minor, Op. 115
  3. Piano Quintet No. 1 in D minor, Op. 89
  4. Piano Quartet No. 2 in G minor, Op. 45
  5. Piano Quartet No. 1 in C minor, Op. 15
  6. String Quartet in E minor, Op. 121
  7. Piano Trio in D minor, Op. 120
  8. Sonata for cello & piano No. 2 in G minor, Op. 117
  9. Sicilienne, for cello & piano, Op. 78
  10. Sérénade, for cello & piano in B minor, Op. 98
  11. Romance for cello & piano, Op. 69
  12. Papillon, for cello & piano, Op. 77
  13. Élégie for cello & piano or orchestra in C minor, Op. 24
  14. Sonata for cello & piano No. 1 in D minor, Op. 109
  15. Sonata for violin & piano No. 1 in A major, Op. 13
  16. Sonata for violin & piano No. 2 in E minor, Op. 108
  17. Morceau de lecture, for violin & piano
  18. Andante for violin & piano in B flat major, Op. 75
  19. Romance for violin & piano (or orchestra) in B flat major, Op. 28
  20. Berceuse, for violin & piano (or orchestra) in D Major, Op. 16

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