Piano Works: Complete
(Boxed Set, 4PC)
Fauré's compositional style can be divided into four periods. The earliest is the romantic style, particularly noticeable in the works from the 1870s where the spirit of Chopin hovers over the early Nocturnes. Next are the works dating from the 1880s when he became close to poets such as Verlaine. The music from these years is dreamy, languid and tortuously melodious. The third style from the 1890s is bold and assertive, and the many of the great piano works date from this period. The final style is confident, when Fauré felt able to pursue a solitary course, with a string of remarkable works including the late Nocturnes and the 5th Impromptu. The music is sparse in texture, but rich in expressive dissonances. Jean-Philippe Collard is one of the great exponents of this repertoire. Collard, confirming the impression made by his other records, proves an excellent choice, equal to all this music's technical demands, as his refined control of the frequently shifting textures of the Op. 33 set (Nos. 1-3) shows. His identification with Faure's musical thought also appears to be complete, and this is the major point, because a long journey is travelled between Nocturne No. 1 of 1883 and No. 13, which was published in 1922.