- The Two Piano Quartets.
Gabriel Fauré seems at first glance to fit nicely into the history of French music, as a pupil of Saint-Saëns and as a teacher of Maurice Ravel.
Yet he stands apart from the mainstream, because of his unique musical language, and because rather than writing colorful orchestral pieces he preferred to work in the media of the song, solo piano, and chamber music.
On this recording, we hear the following:
- Piano Quartet No. 1 in C minor Op. 15
- Piano Quartet No. 2 in G minor, Op. 45
Performed by the Schubert Ensemble.
With the exception of the late String Quartet, all of Gabriel Faure’s chamber works combine the piano with strings.
The two Piano Quartets were written in the late 1870’s and mid-1880’s. This was a combination of instruments for which most of the models belonged to the German tradition, from Mozart to Schumann and Brahms.
There was, however, a French compositional precedent in the B flat major Quartet by Fauré’s teacher and friend, Camille Saint-Saëns, which was completed and first performed in 1875.
Let’s listen to some wonderful works by Faure:
And next here is Fauré’s Piano Quartet No. 1 — Allegro molto – recoded live at Wigmore Hall in London:
Performed by Michel Dalberto (piano), Renaud Capuçon (violin), Gautier Capuçon (cello) and Gérard Caussé (viola):
This is wonderful, lyrical music!
Tags: Gabriel Faure, Piano quartets, Camille Saint-Saëns, Maurice Ravel