Fauré’s complete chamber music
When some of France’s top musicians take it upon themselves to record Gabriel Fauré’s complete chamber music, you can pretty much bet your bottom dollar it’s going to be a testimonial. This is certainly the case with the set of CDs recorded between 2008 and 2010 by Gérard Caussé (viola), Renaud and Gautier Capuçon (violin/violoncello), the string musicians from the Ébène Quartet and the pianists Nicholas Angelich and Michel Dalberto. The five CDs published on the Virgin Classics label total more than five hours of music and set a new benchmark in interpreting Fauré.
It’s difficult to imagine how anyone could top the melodious, heart-rending music played here. The musicians’ range of expression swings from lyrical internalisation to unfettered, dramatic power, while the fin-de-siècle character of this compilation never fails to delight. The five CDs include in particular two piano quartets and quintets. Nicholas Angelich and Michel Dalberto play them masterfully, making the C. Bechstein D 282 concert grand expertly tuned by Denijs de Winter sing in a sensitive and nuanced manner. And it’s no coincidence that the pianists chose Bechstein for this recording, either: after all, Fauré himself was particularly fond of the brand.