Author Topic: Gabriel Fauré (Faure)  (Read 45408 times)

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Offline Madiel

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Re: Gabriel Fauré (Faure)
« Reply #220 on: August 31, 2018, 07:59:54 PM »
Fauré definitely complained about people playing his music in an overly demure fashion.

And the cello sonatas are definitely pretty passionate affairs. Nevertheless, that particular recording is just too spiky in my opinion. Fauré needs flow. The sense of line is paramount.
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Offline Florestan

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Re: Gabriel Fauré (Faure)
« Reply #221 on: September 01, 2018, 01:34:00 AM »
Fauré definitely complained about people playing his music in an overly demure fashion.

Am i right in presuming he made that complaint late in his life?

Quote
Fauré needs flow. The sense of line is paramount.

Fully agreed. "Aggressive" of "uncontrolled" are not at all on the same page as Fauré.
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Offline Madiel

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Re: Gabriel Fauré (Faure)
« Reply #222 on: September 01, 2018, 01:52:46 AM »
Am i right in presuming he made that complaint late in his life?

You made me go hunting. It appears to be something Marguerite Long reported him as saying, and she worked with him in roughly the first decade of the 20th century.
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Offline Florestan

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Re: Gabriel Fauré (Faure)
« Reply #223 on: September 01, 2018, 02:33:49 AM »
You made me go hunting. It appears to be something Marguerite Long reported him as saying, and she worked with him in roughly the first decade of the 20th century.

Thanks. Well, to me it sounds just like the right time for the shift from "the old musical outlook when music was still a vehicle for expression and when it was still permissible and not ridiculous to feel and disclose one's feelings" (Leonid Sabaneyev) to the new, (back then new, I mean), more objective, cold, restrained and detached outlook, which to an old guard like Fauré might indeed have appeared as demure. Needless to say, I'm with him all the way.

« Last Edit: September 01, 2018, 02:36:21 AM by Florestan »
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Online Mandryka

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Re: Gabriel Fauré (Faure)
« Reply #224 on: September 01, 2018, 03:08:57 AM »
Someone once told me that Jessica Duchen talks about how he wanted the music to be played in her book, I haven't read it. The early players like Hubeau didn't play particularly restrained way do they -- it's years since I listened to them.
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Offline Florestan

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Re: Gabriel Fauré (Faure)
« Reply #225 on: September 01, 2018, 03:39:34 AM »
Someone once told me that Jessica Duchen talks about how he wanted the music to be played in her book, I haven't read it. The early players like Hubeau didn't play particularly restrained way do they -- it's years since I listened to them.

On the topic of how he wanted his music to be played, Marguerite Long has this to say:

Nevertheless, the paradoxes in Fauré sometimes bewildered me. Despite his very great respect for tradition, he was much less intransigent when it came to his own compositions. He could even be disconcerting. During a rehearsal of one of his works, the conductor was not sure about a point in the score, so he asked Fauré, who replied apathetically: "Well, I don't really know." One day, arriving at my house unexpectedly, he found me at the piano, playing his Theme and Variations, which had just been given as a companion-piece at the Conservatoire, of which he was the Director. I said to him: "Will you let the ascending passage in the second-last variation be played in octaves?" "Oh, no," he said, "not in octaves. I forbid it. I detest that." Nonetheless, on the day of the competition he allowed it. Why? Because at heart he did not care. For him his work was like a bottle at sea. He had other points in common with Alfred de Vigny: a patrician turn of mind and the same indifference to the work once it had been completed.

    Marguerite Long, in At the Piano with Gabriel Fauré (1963), pp. 70-71


Now that I think about it, it rather contradicts his complaining --- reported by the self same Marguerite Long --- about his music being played in an overly demure fashion. Go figure.  ???


« Last Edit: September 01, 2018, 03:43:59 AM by Florestan »
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Offline Madiel

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Re: Gabriel Fauré (Faure)
« Reply #226 on: September 01, 2018, 04:02:03 AM »
I've seen some doubts expressed about just how reliable Mme. Long was as to facts... and apparently they had a bit of a falling out.

At the same time, I could well believe Faure being a bit of a contradictory person.
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Offline Florestan

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Re: Gabriel Fauré (Faure)
« Reply #227 on: September 01, 2018, 04:16:34 AM »
I could well believe Faure being a bit of a contradictory person.

I sometimes think that every great artist is a bit of a contradictory person, and that those who aren't a bit contradictory aren't actually great artists.  :D

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Offline Brian

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Re: Gabriel Fauré (Faure)
« Reply #228 on: January 15, 2019, 07:28:06 AM »


World premiere recordings for a piano sonata and mazurka written by the teenaged Fauré:

"The manuscript of the Sonata, N. 5, so far unpublished, is dated 6th April 1863, and is preserved at the Beinecke Library at Yale University. Fauré never intended to publish it, no doubt considering that, being written in the style of earlier masters and having what he found to be an impersonal character, it did not merit publication. Today, however, with our knowledge of the composer’s career, we can take a different view. This sonata – which may have been composed as a teaching piece for its dedicatee Marguerite Paringaux, daughter of the composer’s sister Rose, or as a composition exercise at the École Niedermeyer – is remarkable for its adoption of a musical style from the turn of the 18th/19th centuries, very different from that used by Fauré in his other early pieces. One could even imagine that each of its movements imitates one of the three Viennese masters: Mozart in the opening Allegro ma non troppo, Beethoven in the minuet (which recalls the In tempo di Menuetto from the latter’s Op. 22 Piano Sonata) and Haydn in the piquant finale with its many interruptions. Throughout the sonata, Fauré – not without humour – parodies the compositional principles of the period and enriches the score with unexpected twists. He also provides us with an interesting insight into how these principles might have been perceived and interpreted in the 1860s."

- Jean-Pierre Bartoli, in the booklet notes

Offline Florestan

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Re: Gabriel Fauré (Faure)
« Reply #229 on: January 15, 2019, 12:52:17 PM »


World premiere recordings for a piano sonata and mazurka written by the teenaged Fauré:

"The manuscript of the Sonata, N. 5, so far unpublished, is dated 6th April 1863, and is preserved at the Beinecke Library at Yale University. Fauré never intended to publish it, no doubt considering that, being written in the style of earlier masters and having what he found to be an impersonal character, it did not merit publication. Today, however, with our knowledge of the composer’s career, we can take a different view. This sonata – which may have been composed as a teaching piece for its dedicatee Marguerite Paringaux, daughter of the composer’s sister Rose, or as a composition exercise at the École Niedermeyer – is remarkable for its adoption of a musical style from the turn of the 18th/19th centuries, very different from that used by Fauré in his other early pieces. One could even imagine that each of its movements imitates one of the three Viennese masters: Mozart in the opening Allegro ma non troppo, Beethoven in the minuet (which recalls the In tempo di Menuetto from the latter’s Op. 22 Piano Sonata) and Haydn in the piquant finale with its many interruptions. Throughout the sonata, Fauré – not without humour – parodies the compositional principles of the period and enriches the score with unexpected twists. He also provides us with an interesting insight into how these principles might have been perceived and interpreted in the 1860s."

- Jean-Pierre Bartoli, in the booklet notes

Most interesting, the description reminds me a bit of Gounod's charming Sonata for Piano Four Hands, although I'd replace Haydn with Schubert and change the order in which they appear.

Quibble: the authors of the art cover might fancy that Mazurke somehow sounds more French than Mazurka, but they've come up with an inexistent word.  :)
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Online Ghost of Baron Scarpia

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Re: Gabriel Fauré (Faure)
« Reply #230 on: January 15, 2019, 01:03:24 PM »
Mazurke may be what Faure himself scrawled on the unpublished manuscript.

My first instinct is that since it is Faure I must hear it. But these parodies of 'ancient' music never seem to resonate with me.
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Offline Florestan

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Re: Gabriel Fauré (Faure)
« Reply #231 on: January 15, 2019, 01:37:34 PM »
Mazurke may be what Faure himself scrawled on the unpublished manuscript.

This very thought crossed my mind before posting my quibble; given Chopin, I doubted it, but a photograph of the original manuscript will make me stand corrected.
"Beauty must appeal to the senses, must provide us with immediate enjoyment, must impress us or insinuate itself into us without any effort on our part." - Claude Debussy

Offline Madiel

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Re: Gabriel Fauré (Faure)
« Reply #232 on: January 15, 2019, 07:08:21 PM »


World premiere recordings for a piano sonata and mazurka written by the teenaged Fauré:

"The manuscript of the Sonata, N. 5, so far unpublished, is dated 6th April 1863, and is preserved at the Beinecke Library at Yale University. Fauré never intended to publish it, no doubt considering that, being written in the style of earlier masters and having what he found to be an impersonal character, it did not merit publication. Today, however, with our knowledge of the composer’s career, we can take a different view. This sonata – which may have been composed as a teaching piece for its dedicatee Marguerite Paringaux, daughter of the composer’s sister Rose, or as a composition exercise at the École Niedermeyer – is remarkable for its adoption of a musical style from the turn of the 18th/19th centuries, very different from that used by Fauré in his other early pieces. One could even imagine that each of its movements imitates one of the three Viennese masters: Mozart in the opening Allegro ma non troppo, Beethoven in the minuet (which recalls the In tempo di Menuetto from the latter’s Op. 22 Piano Sonata) and Haydn in the piquant finale with its many interruptions. Throughout the sonata, Fauré – not without humour – parodies the compositional principles of the period and enriches the score with unexpected twists. He also provides us with an interesting insight into how these principles might have been perceived and interpreted in the 1860s."

- Jean-Pierre Bartoli, in the booklet notes

Is this already released? I looked for it on Deezer (which generally has BIS recordings) but can't find it.

If they're world premiere recordings, this at least explains why I've never heard these pieces despite knowing about them from a works list for years.
« Last Edit: January 15, 2019, 07:11:38 PM by Madiel »
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Offline Madiel

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Re: Gabriel Fauré (Faure)
« Reply #233 on: January 15, 2019, 07:11:14 PM »
Just listened to samples on the BIS website.

The sonata does not sound remotely like Faure. Not even close.
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Offline Mirror Image

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Re: Gabriel Fauré (Faure)
« Reply #234 on: January 27, 2019, 04:33:09 PM »
Here’s perhaps a rather inane question, but if you could sum up in one sentence Fauré’s musical style (and general compositional voice), what would be your response?
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Offline Madiel

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Re: Gabriel Fauré (Faure)
« Reply #235 on: January 27, 2019, 06:34:20 PM »
Here’s perhaps a rather inane question, but if you could sum up in one sentence Fauré’s musical style (and general compositional voice), what would be your response?

Flowing melodies that twist and turn, and struggle more and more as he gets older.
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Offline Mirror Image

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Re: Gabriel Fauré (Faure)
« Reply #236 on: January 27, 2019, 06:55:16 PM »
Flowing melodies that twist and turn, and struggle more and more as he gets older.

Fascinating description. Care to elaborate on this idea? The reasoning for my initial question is that I’m a complete Fauré noob in the regard that I’m just finally clicking with his music after nine years of questioning and figuring out why it was so elusive to me.
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Offline Madiel

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Re: Gabriel Fauré (Faure)
« Reply #237 on: January 27, 2019, 07:16:01 PM »
Fascinating description. Care to elaborate on this idea? The reasoning for my initial question is that I’m a complete Fauré noob in the regard that I’m just finally clicking with his music after nine years of questioning and figuring out why it was so elusive to me.

I think it's elusive to a lot of performers as well. Kathryn Stott's set of piano music (which is pretty much where I started many years ago) refers to how the music is often insanely difficult to pull off without being "showy" or virtuosic, which has put a lot of pianists off. What's the point of working so hard if the audience isn't going to realise how hard you're working?...

Anyway, I think it's characteristic of a lot of Faure's music that there aren't many clear musical paragraphs and dividing lines. Yes, it's tonal music, but all those shifting harmonies mean that he often approaches a destination very eliptically, gliding in instead of having a clear emphatic cadence. It's very much about flow.

But one of the things that really divides Faure's career to me is whether that flow feels easy or hard. In early works, melodies tend to soar easily and freely and the harmonic sleights of hand are clever. In the middle period it often feels like there's hesitation and a searching quality. And in the later works, there's often a sense of real struggle, as if the music wants to soar like the early stuff but can't get there. It aches.
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Offline Mirror Image

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Re: Gabriel Fauré (Faure)
« Reply #238 on: January 27, 2019, 07:24:33 PM »
I think it's elusive to a lot of performers as well. Kathryn Stott's set of piano music (which is pretty much where I started many years ago) refers to how the music is often insanely difficult to pull off without being "showy" or virtuosic, which has put a lot of pianists off. What's the point of working so hard if the audience isn't going to realise how hard you're working?...

Anyway, I think it's characteristic of a lot of Faure's music that there aren't many clear musical paragraphs and dividing lines. Yes, it's tonal music, but all those shifting harmonies mean that he often approaches a destination very eliptically, gliding in instead of having a clear emphatic cadence. It's very much about flow.

But one of the things that really divides Faure's career to me is whether that flow feels easy or hard. In early works, melodies tend to soar easily and freely and the harmonic sleights of hand are clever. In the middle period it often feels like there's hesitation and a searching quality. And in the later works, there's often a sense of real struggle, as if the music wants to soar like the early stuff but can't get there. It aches.

Thanks for the clarification. It seems that Fauré’s music really resonates with you. For this, I think people, like yourself, are beneficial to those listeners who have yet to figure out the composer as your descriptions and general opinion of the music can help guide us along.

P.S. Sorry about being an ass to you many months ago. I hope we can move on from here with even more ease.
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Re: Gabriel Fauré (Faure)
« Reply #239 on: January 28, 2019, 02:08:03 AM »


I listened to the op 108 sonata here, I'm not totally sure who's playing piano, but it made me think that the qualities I value most from the late music at least are lightness and transparency.
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