Fauré The Complete Piano Works [5 CDs]

Fauré's piano music, as well as his chamber music, is frequently described with such words as "understated," "restrained," and "subtle," which means that it's not for everybody. So, for example, if you think that Tchaikovsky's concertos are the epitome of Romantic music, then this might not be for you. But if you can get into it, it can be quite extraordinarily rewarding. The harmonies and the melodies are exquisite and hauntingly beautiful.

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The piano music of Fauré consists of 3 "Romances sans paroles". 17 (from about 1863), 13 Nocturnes (1875-1921) and 13 Barcarolles (1881-1913), 5 Impromptu's (1881-1910), 4 Valses-Caprices (1882-1894), Dolly (1893-1896) (suite), orchestrated by Henri Rabaud, Theme & Variations in cis-small, on. 73 (1895), 8 Pièces Brèves (1899-1902) and 9 Préludes (1909-1910).
Gabriel Fauré (1845-1924) composed Melodies, chamber music, orchestras and choral works. Some of his piano compositions, composed between 1860 and 1920, belong to his best known work. His main piano works are the nocturnes, barcarolles, impromptu's and The Valse Caprices. These were composed in several decades and show Fauré's Style, simple and youthful charm, about the introspective of the turbulent period in the middle of his life, to his last mysterious style. Other noteworthy piano pieces, including shorter works or compilations, are the "Romances Sans Paroles", the Ballade in Fis, Mazurka in Si Bémol, Theme and Variations in C and the eight "Pièces Brèves". In front of Pianoduo composed Fauré the "Dolly Suite" and together with his friend and former student Andre Messager, the exuberant parody at Wagner "Souvenir de Bayreuth". Most of the piano music is hard to play, but is rarely pronounced virtuoso. The composer loved rather of classical and sober restraint. Pianist Paul Crossley realizes this as no others do.www.stretto.be

It's great that CRD has reissued these wonderful recordings. I had to seek out used copies of some of Crossley's Fauré recordings a number of years ago before this reissue appeared. In my opinion, Crossley has a much better sense for this music than Kathryn Stott. He just gets the tempi, the accentuation, the rubato all so right. Fauré was Ravel's teacher, so if you like Ravel, and especially his piano music, then you should consider spending some time getting into Fauré. Independent reviewer amazon.com

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