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21 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Faure's music is the essence of fragile beauty;that inner world we rarely visit., 13 Dec 2013
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Ultrarunner (Perth-West Australia) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Fauré Edition (Audio CD)
Gabriel Faure's(1845-1924)edition 19 CD box set would make an excellent present and you could think of buying it for yourself.It is cheap,about a pound a CD.(There are reviews of the CDs below).The booklet states that"Faure emerges as one of the most intimately confessional of composers. The beauty of his music is the beauty of its soul. Far from offering merely graceful mellifluousness,Faure demonstrates what Grace-in a religious,or rather metaphysical sense-may be achieved through melliffluousness when poised over the abysses of human nature. Thus his music,as a repository of genuine civilization,has become ever more relevant in the 90 years since his death"(Macdonald 2013:2).When you finish listening to this set,you may wonder why you did not explore Faure's music before.

The tough cardboard box is dark orange,with CD numbers and music to be played on the back,with the orchestra,conductor,and soloists displayed.The CD sleeves are exactly the same as for the box,however,in yellow is for example,orchestral music and Melodies 1-4 .On the back and front of the sleeve is the CD number. The CD itself is white,with music to be played in black wording,as well as CD number.The orchestra conductor,or soloists in orange.This is a beautiful understated box,as Faure himself was.No translations in the booklet of his songs and opera,just details about his life and his music.Brilliant has licensed the music from EMI, Vox and CRD records Ltd,UK.The sound is good,one MONO CD,STEREO and ADD.Compact disc digital audio.

I shall use reviews from Penguin guides 1977,1993,1996,2008.

(CD 1)STEREO. Pavane New Phil orch,cond Willcocks.(One of the composers famous pieces.) Masques et bergamsques-suite. Dolly suite Pelleas et Melisande.(These two pieces are among Faure's best loved music.) Orch Cond Serge Baudo.This is Faure at his best,nothing is obvious on the surface,but underneath there is a subtle beauty.Gentle,fragile,uniquely Faure's own voice.Baudo conducted an excellent La Mer by Debussy,found in the EMI Eminence box set-T.

(CD 2) DDD. Ballade for Piano and orchestra.(This piece has a wistful character.-T.) Berceuse.Lovely-T. Elegie for Cello and orchestra.(A celebrated piece) Violin Concerto. Romance for cello and orchestra.fantasie for flute and orch,Fantasie for piano and orch.Orch de Bretagne cond Moshe Atmon.

(CD 3 & 4)STEREO. Piano Quintet No 1 op 89.(This quintet took Faure many years to write.The slow movement shows the composer at his most reflective.) Piano Quintet no 2 op 115.(A masterpiece written in his Indian summer,as he approached his 8o's.) Piano Quartet No 1 op 15.(The Adagio is a slow movement,hushed in deep meditation.) Piano Quartet no 2 op 45.Jacqueline Eymar piano,Gunther Kehr violin,Erich Sichermann viola, Bernhard Braunholz cello.

(CD 5)STEREO. La Bonne Chanson op 61 Text paul Verlaine. Sarah Walker soprano,The Nash Ensemble. Piano Trio op 120 (has been called sublime).Eymar piano,Kehr-violin,braunholz-Cello."This reading with its passionate undertones,is never less than convincing." Siclilenne. Grauwels flute. Orch de television Belguim cond Vandernoot." The characterful warmth and vibrancy of Sarah Walker's voice,not to mention her positive artistry,come out strongly in this beautiful reading of Faure's early settings of Verlaine,music both tender and ardent.Members of the Nash Ensemble give a dedicated performance capturing the elegance."

(CD 6)STEREO and DDD. Cello Sonata No 1 op 109. Cello Sonata No 2 op 117.Thomas Igloi cello,Clifford Benson piano. String Quartet op 121.Regarding this quartet it is written that"Faure thrusts himself beyond the spheres in order to bring back pure beauty".(Ewen pg 273). Loewenguth Quartet. Elegie for cello and piano.Wladislav Warenberg cello and Sara Crombach piano."Benson and Igloi do full justice to these elusive and rewarding Faure sonatas".Scholars have suggested "that Faure concealed his harmonic learning where another composer would have advertised it applies to all his music but particularly these late sonatas."

(CD 7) DDD. Violin Sonata No 1 op 13. Violin Sonata N0 2 op 108. Krysia Osostowicz violin,Susan Tomes piano."They bring an appealingly natural,unforced quality to their playing and they are completely persuasive,particularly in the elusive second sonata."

(CD 8-CD 11).STEREO. Nocturnes 1-13. No 13(1922).Faure's farewell to the piano is one of the most eloquently tragic pieces of music he ever put to paper. Theme et Variations op 71. Ballade op 19. Preludes op 103.1-9. Barcarolles 1-13.Impromptus 1-5. Valses caprices. huit pieces breves op 84. Trois romances sans paroles. Dolly suite. Souvenirs de Bayreuth for piano two hands. (Bruno Rigutto piano). All with Jean-Phillippe Collard."This is all music to which Jean-Phillippe Collard is wholly attuned.His account of the Theme and Variations is masterly,combining the utmost tonal refinement and sensitivity with striking keyboard authority.Collard has the qualities of reticence,yet ardour,subtlety and poetic feeling to penetrate Faure's intimate world. "Faure's music has a confiding quality to it,as though it were a message intended for an audience of one".(Gramophone classical guide 2009.)

(CD 12-15)STEREO.EMI.1970-1974. Melodies all with Elly Ameling soprano,Gerald Souzay baritone and Piano Dalton Baldwin Piano.These songs represent Faure throughout his long compsing career,including here many of his most winning songs.This set is worth the price of this set just to hear soprano Ameling,but Souzay is not what he once was in these songs.-T Le papillon et la Fleur.Mai. Reve d'amour. Dans les ruines d une abbaye.Les matelots. Lydia. Hymne.Seule. L'absent. l'aurore.la rancon. Chantd'automne. Aulade. Tristesse. Chanson du pecheur. Barcarolle.Ici-Bas!Au bord de l'eau. serenade toscane. apres un reve. Syvie. Le voyageur. automne.La bonne Chanson. Le parfum imperissable. Arpege. Pleurs d'or. Melisande's song. Prison. Soir. Dans la foret. La Fleur qui va surl'eau. Les plus doux chemin. Le ramier. Le don silencieux.Chanson. Vocalise-Etude.Poems d un jour. Cinq melodies de venise.La Chanson d'Eve. Le Jardin clos. Mirages. C'est la paix.l'horizon chimerique.

(CD 16)Requiem.Lucia Popp-soprano and Simon Estes, Staatskapelle Dresden cond Colin Davis.Popp has a very emotional distinctive voice.The Requiem is different from the others in being intimate in tone and reserved in style.It speaks of the tranquillity and the serenity of death. He does touch on Gregorian chants which reminds me of Hildegard of Bingen 1098-1178.She was attached to a group of Benedictine Nuns near Bingen,Germany and became Abbess when the former one died.She tried to comunicate her mystical visions through music.She was able to exercise a strength and authority which was unusual for women of that time.Canticles of Ecstasy -Sequentia.Hildegard von Bingen.BMG.

(CD 17)DDD. Cantique de jean Racine. Messe basse for female voices.Maria mater gratiae.Salve regina. Ecce fidelis servus. Madrigal. Pleurs d'or. Le Ruisseau.Groupe vocal de France John Alldis.

(CD 18 & 19)MONO. 1956. Opera:Penelope Acts 1,2 & 3. Penelope.Regine Crespin. Ulysse Raoul Jobin.Orch National de la RTF cond Emile Inghelbrecht.Very rarely heard."The work itself is often haunting,noble and compelling. The opera has all the harmonic subtlety and refinement of late Faure.A glorious work".(Penguin 1993 pg 91).The opera has great melodic charm and vivid characterization.Took Faure 5 years to write.Regarded by many as a masterpiece. Penelope waits faithfully for Ulysse's return from the Trojan wars,resisting all advances from her suitors.He returns as a beggar and he suggests a test of strength to Penelopes suitors.If they can bend Ulysse's bow he left in her care,they can win her hand. They cannot do this,he can.He shoots the suitors dead with his bow and arrows.He is then reunited with Penelope and there is general rejoicing.Faure influenced Ravel,Schmitt and Nadia Boulanger who taught Phillip Glass composition.He is an American who is the greatest composer living today.

REFERENCES:Ewen,D.The world of 20th century music.1968. Prentice-Hall. Gramophone Classical music guide 2009. Penguin classical music guides,1977,1993,1996 &2008. Stanley,J.Classical Music.1995.Readers Digest. Warrack,J & West,E.The Oxford Dictionary of Opera.1992 Oxford University press.
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2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Value, 19 Mar 2014
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This review is from: Fauré Edition (Audio CD)
Wonderfull Box Set.
Has almost all you need, in Faure.
Heared about this box on BBC R3 CD review.

jeffoldbean.
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2 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Thank you, 5 Aug 2014
This review is from: Fauré Edition (Audio CD)
Very fond of the composer. Lovely collection.
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