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#1434667 - 05/11/10 06:08 PM Fauré, still to be discovered?
dolce sfogato Offline
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Registered: 03/29/10
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Loc: Netherlands
Starting on the Ballade, don't know anyone who played this wonderful piece, seems very rare, how is that possible?
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#1434675 - 05/11/10 06:21 PM Re: Fauré, still to be discovered? [Re: dolce sfogato]
hat Offline
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#1434680 - 05/11/10 06:30 PM Re: Fauré, still to be discovered? [Re: dolce sfogato]
Barb860 Offline
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Registered: 04/11/09
Posts: 1644
Loc: northern California
A poster here from a while back, "sotto voce", was working on that piece in earnest, you might do a search to find his posts in the past on this subject.
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#1434801 - 05/11/10 09:48 PM Re: Fauré, still to be discovered? [Re: Barb860]
CWPiano Offline
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Registered: 11/30/08
Posts: 212
I am working occasionaly on the Ballade and I have to say that it is simply a gorgeous piece. Being a Faure lover myself, I played several of his Barcarolles and Nocturnes before. In fact, I used his 4th Nocturne as my audition piece last time. Faure's music is an acquired taste. They may not sound instantly likeable at first hearing, especially the later works, but repeated hearings will reveal their ingenuity.
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#1434852 - 05/11/10 11:25 PM Re: Fauré, still to be discovered? [Re: CWPiano]
BruceD Offline
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CWP :

What you say about Fauré I find particularly interesting because I have never been able to get myself beyond that "first hearing" stage you mention. I have read through a few of his works for piano more than once and I have but a single recording of his piano music. Unlike so many other composers many of whose works capture me right from the start, none of Fauré's has ever done that for me. Consequently, I've never had the inspiration nor the incentive to work on any of his music for piano.

When others talk about his works in favourable terms, I know that I must be missing something, but I have not yet been able to get past the stage of finding it uninspiring - to me. I wish I knew how to be more appreciative of what Fauré has written for piano. I wonder if it's a case, not only of an acquired taste, but one that just does not appeal to all.

Regards,
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#1434858 - 05/11/10 11:37 PM Re: Fauré, still to be discovered? [Re: BruceD]
beet31425 Offline
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Registered: 06/12/09
Posts: 3709
Loc: Bay Area, CA
Originally Posted By: BruceD
Unlike so many other composers many of whose works capture me right from the start, none of Fauré's has ever done that for me. Consequently, I've never had the inspiration nor the incentive to work on any of his music for piano.

Here's my experience, for what it's worth. I know three major Faure pieces: his requiem, his piano quartet in C minor (op. 15), and his late piano trio in D minor (op. 120). I love every minute of each of those three pieces, and I found them immediately accessible. (For instance, here's the last movement of the quartet: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lrmSlCvCAAw)

I was therefore surprised when I started listening to his solo piano music. It was good, but none of it grabbed me. I'm sure if I listened a lot more, I'd come to love them. But that hasn't happened yet, so I kind of know what you mean. If I didn't have a connection to Faure through his chamber music, he'd remain a big enigma to me.

Do check out that quartet. smile

-Jason
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#1434861 - 05/11/10 11:38 PM Re: Fauré, still to be discovered? [Re: BruceD]
Mattardo Offline
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Registered: 02/11/08
Posts: 1306
I've always gotten the impresson from Faure that he teeters on the edge of schmaltzy piano-anthology material - at least with his solo piano works I've come across. They haven't made me want to search out more of them.
The only Faure I heard and enjoyed was the Piano Trio in D Minor - that's actually worth giving a listen to, in my opinion.

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#1434867 - 05/11/10 11:48 PM Re: Fauré, still to be discovered? [Re: beet31425]
BruceD Offline
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Originally Posted By: beet31425
[...]
Here's my experience, for what it's worth. I know three major Faure pieces: his requiem, his piano quartet in C minor (op. 15), and his late piano trio in D minor (op. 120). I love every minute of each of those three pieces, and I found them immediately accessible. (For instance, here's the last movement of the quartet: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lrmSlCvCAAw)

I was therefore surprised when I started listening to his solo piano music. It was good, but none of it grabbed me. I'm sure if I listened a lot more, I'd come to love them. But that hasn't happened yet, so I kind of know what you mean. If I didn't have a connection to Faure through his chamber music, he'd remain a big enigma to me.

Do check out that quartet. smile

-Jason


What I find interesting in the context of this discussion is that I do have a recording containing both the C minor Piano Quartet and the d minor Piano Trio as well as two recordings of the Requiem. Both chamber works are, to my taste, fine examples of each genre and I enjoy them both equally well. Similar to your experience, I had the same disappointment when I turned from these chamber works to Fauré's piano solo works.

I've also had some (limited) experience accompanying some of Fauré's songs - but only with sopranos so far. There again, I've found them quite interesting and satisfying - if not rewarding - to work on, but not the uplifting experience that accompanying Schubert Lieder gives me.

That last may be an unfair apples-to-oranges comparison but to me it does underscore the accessibility of Schubert Lieder and the relative elusiveness of the Fauré songs.

Regards,
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#1434879 - 05/12/10 12:09 AM Re: Fauré, still to be discovered? [Re: Mattardo]
jeffreyjones Offline
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Registered: 01/31/10
Posts: 2290
Loc: San Jose, CA
Faure's best solo piano works are the Preludes, Op. 103, and the Theme and Variations, Op. 73 - for completely different reasons. The Preludes have to grow on you, as most of Faure does, but that's because there's a lot to them. Casadesus recorded a couple of them and he really shows the potential they have. Op. 73 is just an awesome work. It reminds me of Mendelssohn's Variations Serieuses in the way that it maintains its intensity.

It's true that Faure is neglected, even by the scholars. There have only very recently been urtext editions of Faure's piano music, and they are still extremely rare to see in a music store.

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#1434888 - 05/12/10 12:33 AM Re: Fauré, still to be discovered? [Re: jeffreyjones]
RealPlayer Offline
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Registered: 05/02/03
Posts: 2314
Loc: NYC
I heard a CD of some of his music at a friend's apartment, and I found the music quite captivating. I would like to have a look at it.

Now, Poulenc I can do without. Maybe it's overexposure. laugh
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#1434912 - 05/12/10 02:04 AM Re: Fauré, still to be discovered? [Re: BruceD]
currawong Offline
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Registered: 05/15/07
Posts: 5901
Loc: Down Under
Originally Posted By: BruceD
I've also had some (limited) experience accompanying some of Fauré's songs - but only with sopranos so far. There again, I've found them quite interesting and satisfying - if not rewarding - to work on, but not the uplifting experience that accompanying Schubert Lieder gives me.

That last may be an unfair apples-to-oranges comparison but to me it does underscore the accessibility of Schubert Lieder and the relative elusiveness of the Fauré songs.
I'd agree that the Faure songs don't always yield their treasures readily. But treasures there certainly are. See if you can find some of the old Gerard Souzay recordings - he's unrivalled in Faure, IMO.
La Bonne Chanson (9-song cycle to words by Verlaine) is just gorgeous - but subtle and understated, which means it may not appeal on first hearing.

And I never tire of listening to what I consider to be Faure's best song - Le parfum impérissable op.76 no.1. Such riches.

(I agree, of course, that Schubert is hard to beat! smile )
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#1434914 - 05/12/10 02:15 AM Re: Fauré, still to be discovered? [Re: RealPlayer]
carey Offline
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Registered: 05/13/05
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Faure's Nocturne No. 3 (Opus 33) and No. 4 (Opus 36) are very accessible a quite lovely. Other favorites of mine include No. 1 (Capriccio), No. 4 (Adagietto), No. 5 (Improvisation) and No. 6 (Allegresse) from his Opus 84.
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#1434919 - 05/12/10 02:31 AM Re: Fauré, still to be discovered? [Re: currawong]
beet31425 Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/12/09
Posts: 3709
Loc: Bay Area, CA
Originally Posted By: currawong

(I agree, of course, that Schubert is hard to beat! smile )

Speaking of which, I only recently discovered the meaning behind your signature. smile

-Jason
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#1434960 - 05/12/10 04:34 AM Re: Fauré, still to be discovered? [Re: dolce sfogato]
wr Offline
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Registered: 11/23/07
Posts: 7754
Originally Posted By: dolce sfogato
Starting on the Ballade, don't know anyone who played this wonderful piece, seems very rare, how is that possible?


I have a friend who borrowed my score of the Ballade and learned it. He said it was very very difficult, so that might be a reason behind the relative neglect of that particular piece.

Although I always more or less enjoyed Faure's music, it took me some time to start understanding that it was more than just "pretty". Under that highly civilized surface, there is some very imaginative and sometimes daring creative thought, and often there is an intense emotional undertow pushing it all along. But Faure rarely hits you over the head with the stuff that makes his music interesting and worthwhile, and it can be easy to miss. Well, it was for me, anyway.

He must have had an interesting technique, because his piano writing is a strange mix of things that lie very nicely under the hand, and things that are awkward. There are many moments in it that are trickier than they look.

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#1434961 - 05/12/10 04:42 AM Re: Fauré, still to be discovered? [Re: BruceD]
CWPiano Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/30/08
Posts: 212
Originally Posted By: BruceD
CWP :

What you say about Fauré I find particularly interesting because I have never been able to get myself beyond that "first hearing" stage you mention. I have read through a few of his works for piano more than once and I have but a single recording of his piano music. Unlike so many other composers many of whose works capture me right from the start, none of Fauré's has ever done that for me. Consequently, I've never had the inspiration nor the incentive to work on any of his music for piano.

When others talk about his works in favourable terms, I know that I must be missing something, but I have not yet been able to get past the stage of finding it uninspiring - to me. I wish I knew how to be more appreciative of what Fauré has written for piano. I wonder if it's a case, not only of an acquired taste, but one that just does not appeal to all.

Regards,


Point taken. That is why understandably many pianists are reluctant to program Faure's solo works in their recitals. To be honest, I do not enjoy entirety of Faure's output, I was quite selective as well in his solo piano works. I think I will list down a few select pieces that I think are more accessible to listen to:

Barcarolle No 1, 3, 13
Nocturne No 1, 4, 6
Improvisation Op 84 No 5
3 Romance sans Paroles
Impromptu No 1
Valse Caprice No 2

Personally I think each of us have composers whose music speak personally to us. I have a friend who swears by Scriabin's late sonatas but I could not ever understand their appeal.
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#1435081 - 05/12/10 11:21 AM Re: Fauré, still to be discovered? [Re: CWPiano]
Janus K. Sachs Offline
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Registered: 10/31/07
Posts: 1710
Loc: Betelgeuse, baby!
I've always loved Faure, but I'm particularly fond of the late works, which are fascinating (especially from a harmonic standpoint). The Twelfth Nocturne is quite a masterpiece -- it's practically a ballade that rages against the dying of the light. The Second Violin Sonata is incredible (and worlds away from the First). Both Piano Quintets and the String Quartet are filled with lovely wistfulness. There's also the gorgeous song cycle La chanson d'Eve -- Upshaw has a magnificent recording.
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#1450942 - 06/05/10 04:57 PM Re: Fauré, still to be discovered? [Re: BruceD]
gerg Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/02/07
Posts: 1651
Loc: Houston, TX
Originally Posted By: BruceD
CWP :
When others talk about his works in favourable terms, I know that I must be missing something, but I have not yet been able to get past the stage of finding it uninspiring - to me. I wish I knew how to be more appreciative of what Fauré has written for piano. I wonder if it's a case, not only of an acquired taste, but one that just does not appeal to all.


I understand, Bruce. Not sure why certain composers speak to certain people, but I'd be reticent to question someone's likes and dislikes. Part of the reason behind Fauré's lack of popularity may owe to the piece of his that is the perhaps the most popular for study, the Theme and Variations, Op. 73. In my opinion that is not his finest work, and if that is the only impression people have of him, it's a true shame because so much treasure remains buried under a lackluster first impression...

Fauré's work speaks deeply to me: Sometimes unbridled joy, sometimes subdued passion, sometimes dreams shattered, yet always with sophistication and class, and always anchored to something. I'm presently on quite a Fauré kick, in fact - it's appropriate that this thread was posted one day before the 165th anniversary of Fauré's birth - and remember that you were kind enough to offer feedback on an awful recording I shared three years ago. Presently, I am learning the Nocturne Op. 33 No. 2 in B, a lovely - and yes, even Beethovenesque - piece.

Why isn't he popular some might ask? After all, he completed at least 60 works for the piano, including 13 Nocturnes, 13 Barcarolles, 6 Impromptus, 1 Ballade, four Songs Without Words, 1 Mazurka, and the Dolly Suite for four hands.

Is Fauré the true successor of F. Chopin? I don't know, but, uh, you be the judge:

Fauré Impromptu Op. 25:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gv_KsbbUC74

vs.

Chopin Etude 10/7:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fqk0UICjNbk


AND

Fauré Nocturne No. 12:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t3WGBDqd7...=1&index=15

vs.

Chopin Etude 10/9:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vttDR-pwD5I



Gabriel Fauré, Master of Restrained Passion: Nocturne No. 6 in D-flat, considered among his finest works.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IfX4ng159ng

And close behind that, Nocturne No. 7, Op. 74 - that sultry opening belies a glistening treasure buried in the middle, in the B section that begins timidly with the broken octaves:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wJNxVGiTGOw&feature=related


Lastly, this isn't Chopineque at all, is it? wink
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s-hHdQ8FXTM


Edited by gerg (06/05/10 05:07 PM)
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#1450951 - 06/05/10 05:18 PM Re: Fauré, still to be discovered? [Re: gerg]
pianoloverus Online   content
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Registered: 05/29/01
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I've never heard a piece by Faure in 40+ years of attending recitals. However, I have played this beautiful transcription:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0gc3sfQvk94

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#1450955 - 06/05/10 05:31 PM Re: Fauré, still to be discovered? [Re: dolce sfogato]
Chopinist Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/02/10
Posts: 162
From Friskin and Freundlich's prefatory paragraph to their discussion of Fauré's works (in Music for the Piano):

Quote:
It is easy to underestimate the compositions of Fauré for the piano. There is about them a sort of aristocratic reserve, and they do not always make their full impression on a first acquaintance. It may also be admitted that a number of them show so much similarity of character that there is an effect of repetitiousness. Nevertheless, we have here a master of his craft, with invariable technical finish, distinction and a real individuality. The complete list of pianoforte pieces is a long one; many of the best are among the thirteen Nocturnes, thirteen Barcarolles and six Impromptus, from which a selection has been made here. It should be said that Fauré generally demands some technical maturity.

I love Fauré, and Kathryn Stott's recording of his complete piano compositions is wonderful.

Originally Posted By: dolce sfogato
Starting on the Ballade, don't know anyone who played this wonderful piece, seems very rare, how is that possible?

Which edition are you using? The original French publication in the public domain has some misprints and is unfortunately bereft of fingering or pedaling indications. There are newer ones by Richard Dowling (Masters Music) and Grant Johannesen (International Music); neither of them offers guidance for pedaling, but Dowling's has fairly abundant fingering suggestions (and an expansive preface).
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#1450959 - 06/05/10 05:43 PM Re: Fauré, still to be discovered? [Re: Chopinist]
gerg Offline
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Registered: 02/02/07
Posts: 1651
Loc: Houston, TX
Originally Posted By: Chopinist
Which edition are you using? The original French publication in the public domain has some misprints and is unfortunately bereft of fingering or pedaling indications.


That's an excellent question as Monsieur Gabriel was a notoriously bad editor, frequently penning in corrections on the final printed and published scores of his own works!

Take his tempo indications with suspicion - he did not have the privilege of hearing many of his works played. He seldom offered pedaling and fingerings.

It is said that, upon completing a performance of one of his works (perhaps it was this selfsame Ballade, the orchestrated version), he asked his page turner, "Did you like it?" The page turner responded, "No sir, it was horrible! How could you play your beautiful music so badly?" Fauré responded sadly, "Yes, I know. What comes out of the piano is never what I hear in my head."
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#1450985 - 06/05/10 07:08 PM Re: Fauré, still to be discovered? [Re: dolce sfogato]
argerichfan Offline
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Registered: 11/15/06
Posts: 8818
Loc: Pacific Northwest, US.
Originally Posted By: dolce sfogato
Starting on the Ballade, don't know anyone who played this wonderful piece, seems very rare, how is that possible?

What a glorious piece, either as a piano solo or with orchestra. Don't ever believe the tale of Liszt having trouble sight-reading it. Not possible: there is nothing in the Ballade which could have given the great Liszt trouble.

I'm surprised that no one has mentioned Fauré's greatest (IMO) work- the Requiem. It has always been very dear to me, and it is a bloody sorry state of affairs that the Anglicanized recording by King's College on EMI remains out of print. For shame.

Otherwise, let's have a listen to the C minor piano quartet!
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#1451064 - 06/05/10 09:58 PM Re: Fauré, still to be discovered? [Re: argerichfan]
al-mahed Offline
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Gerg, the fauré op 25 and chopin op 10/7 are too similar, one may think fauré plagiated chopin...
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#1451071 - 06/05/10 10:10 PM Re: Fauré, still to be discovered? [Re: al-mahed]
gerg Offline
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Registered: 02/02/07
Posts: 1651
Loc: Houston, TX
The former undoubtedly drew inspiration from the latter, there can be no question. The B section of the Fauré Impromptu though is vintage Fauré, and esp. the ending of that piece. Some of his earlier music has a certain cosmic "Star Wars" quality to it.

Jason, I fully concur about the Requiem. Inspired, and sublime.
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#1451125 - 06/05/10 11:32 PM Re: Fauré, still to be discovered? [Re: gerg]
Chopinist Offline
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Registered: 06/02/10
Posts: 162
And I concur with Jason's estimation of that old chestnut about Liszt failing to finish sightreading Fauré's Ballade. (My understanding is that he reached a point where he said he'd "run out of fingers" and asked Fauré to finish playing it himself.)

Liszt would have been an old man then, and I reckon he was feeling fatigued or just having a bad day. The Ballade is technically challenging to be sure, but it's impossible to believe that anything in it could have flummoxed Liszt. The idea is downright risible!
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#1451134 - 06/05/10 11:42 PM Re: Fauré, still to be discovered? [Re: Chopinist]
jeffreyjones Offline
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Registered: 01/31/10
Posts: 2290
Loc: San Jose, CA
Originally Posted By: Chopinist
And I concur with Jason's estimation of that old chestnut about Liszt failing to finish sightreading Fauré's Ballade. (My understanding is that he reached a point where he said he'd "run out of fingers" and asked Fauré to finish playing it himself.)

Liszt would have been an old man then, and I reckon he was feeling fatigued or just having a bad day. The Ballade is technically challenging to be sure, but it's impossible to believe that anything in it could have flummoxed Liszt. The idea is downright risible!


The biggest challenge is just reading it.. Fauré is near impossible for most mere mortals to sight-read, but Liszt could read orchestra scores at sight and reduce them for the piano.. this could not have been an issue for him.

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#1451139 - 06/05/10 11:47 PM Re: Fauré, still to be discovered? [Re: jeffreyjones]
Kuanpiano Offline
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I've played the first movement of the C minor quartet with friends, and it wasn't too bad technically, though I loved it very much...
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