Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
|Gabriel Faure, Yo-Yo Ma, Emanuel Ax|
Fauré: Piano Quartets Nos. 1 & 2, Opp. 15 & 45
Listen to Samples
Making the best case possible for Faure's music
Santa Fe Listener | Santa Fe, NM USA | 02/24/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I can only add a few personal comments to Mr. Sobel's intelligent and perceptive review. These are, as he says, glorious performances, and if you buy the 'expanded edition,' you get a mesmerizing transcription for Yo-Yo Ma of Massenet's Meditation from Thais for violin (a moldy chestnut, but Ma plays it as if it's genius). Faure's chamber music is written in his own private harmony, relying a great deal on parallel chords; his melodic inspiraiton is uneven and often tepid; his idiom can be cloying, like taffeta and whipped cream, made bitter with melancholy-- an uneasy mix.
Therefore, it's quite difficult to pull off either of his two Piano Quartets; there's not enough variety from begining to end. Even so, the opening sonata movemens in both works are Schumannesque and carry the most passion and conviciton. The Scherzo of the second quartet is a lively tarentella-like dance, and the same work's finale is mostly strong and vigorous. That's four movements out of eighth that bring me lasting enjoyment (the droopy, somber slow movements are worth skipping unless you want a rainy day in your living room).
It was wise of Ax, Stern, Laredo, and Ma to emphasize the German side of this music, which if taken as too French (delicate, diaphanous, haunting) can seem spineless, a dream of sonata form instead of the real thing. It would be hard to imagine more persuasive accounts, in fact, and the recorded sound is fine."