"I should like to take a line that is both classical and modern, sacrificing neither contemporary practice to hallowed traditions nor traditions to the fashion of the moment. Above all, I favor liberalism: I would not wish to exclude anything that has a serious contribution to make. I’m not biased in favor of any school and there is no type of music I’m inclined to ban, provided it is the outcome of a sincere and well-founded point of view."
(Timothy Hugh, Robin Ireland, et al; Domus Ensemble)
There are three great chamber music composers from the second half of the 19th century: Brahms, Dvorák, and Fauré. Of the three, Fauré is by far the least well known, even in France. French music in the 19th century was almost entirely centered on opera and ballet, and while Fauré did make at least one contribution to the operatic stage (Penelope), he was far more involved in composing chamber music and songs. The two piano quartets are both extremely fine works, beautifully crafted, and full of warmly Romantic melody. This disc was one of the first by non-French performers to make the case for Fauré as a truly great composer of chamber music, and it still sounds very impressive. (review by David Hurwitz)
(John Scott, Simon Standage, et al; Cambridge Singers, City of London Sinfonia; John Rutter, conductor)
John Rutter's groundbreaking research and subsequent performing edition of Fauré's beloved Requiem has enabled us to hear the work as the composer originally intended. His first version of the piece included only a chamber orchestra with lower strings, harp, timpani, and organ. Four years later, Fauré added two movements and slightly expanded the orchestration. This is the version that Rutter and his inimitable Cambridge Singers perform here-- and it's a glorious revelation, especially if the only Fauré Requiem you've heard is that for full orchestra, which the composer himself neither created nor approved. Rutter and his singers give us a wonderfully sumptuous yet detailed performance that benefits tremendously from the newly realized clarity of inner lines and from the richly colored orchestral textures. (review by David Vernier)
The Best of Fauré
(Jean [piano] Martin, Pascal Devoyon, et al; National Symphony Orchestra of Ireland, Czecho-Slovak Radio Symphony Orchestra Bratislava, et al.)