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Thursday, May 18, 2017

Gabriel Fauré - Piano Works (Pascal Rogé)


Composer: Gabriel Fauré
  1. Impromptu No. 2 in F minor, Op. 31
  2. Impromptu No. 3 in A flat major, Op. 34
  3. 3 Nocturnes, Op. 33: No. 1 in E flat minor
  4. 3 Nocturnes, Op. 33: No. 2 in B major
  5. 3 Nocturnes, Op. 33: No. 3 in A flat major
  6. Nocturne No. 4 in E flat major, Op. 36
  7. Nocturne No. 5 in B flat major, Op. 37
  8. 3 Romances sans paroles, Op. 17: 1. Andante, quasi allegretto
  9. 3 Romances sans paroles, Op. 17: 2. Allegro molto
  10. 3 Romances sans paroles, Op. 17: 3. Andante moderato
  11. Barcarolle No. 1 in A minor, Op. 26
  12. Barcarolle No. 2 in G major, Op. 41
  13. Barcarolle No. 4 in A flat major, Op. 44
  14. Valse-caprice No. 1 in A major, Op. 30

Pascal Rogé, piano
Date: 1990
Label: Decca



Faure's solo piano music, apart from the Romances sans paroles written at the age of 18 while he was still a pupil of Saint-Saens, and which despite their title are more Schumannesque than Mendelssohnian, covers a period of all but 40 years; but the music on this disc is confined to the fruitful years 1883-86. (No suggestion is made that this is only the first volume of a Faure integrale by Pascal Roge, but I for one very much hope that this will prove to be so.) In practically all of these pieces, even the immature Romances, Faure's diverse and inventive experiments in texture are much in evidence; and except in the First Barcarolle his harmonic subtleties, which Roge handles with understanding, are very striking (the unexpected key-changes in the Valse-caprice, for example, or, particularly, the First Nocturne and the Third Impromptu). Here we have piano playing of refinement and distinction—less extrovert than Paul Crossley's CRD interpretations of some of these works, but no whit lacking when it comes to powerful climaxes, as in the Lisztian Second Barcarolle.

Roge's phrasing, nuanced part-playing and sensitive dynamics in general could rightly be termed elegant if that word were not beginning to be used pejoratively by demotic popularisers of serious music (no names, but if you're thinking of a certain young violinist I shan't contradict you...). The purity of the rapid runs and decorative passagework is delightful to hear, and only occasionally—as in the agitated central section of the Fifth Nocturne or in the popular tarantella-like Second Impromptu—do the treacherous acoustics of the Salle Wagram turn tonal warmth into over-resonance. Sample the First or Fourth Nocturne here, and I think you will share my pleasure in Faure's subtlety and Roge's artistry.

-- Lionel Salter, Gramophone


Gabriel Fauré (12 May 1845 – 4 November 1924) was a French composer, organist, pianist and teacher. He was one of the foremost French composers of his generation, and his musical style influenced many 20th-century composers. Among his best-known works are his Pavane, Requiem, nocturnes for piano and the songs "Après un rêve" and "Clair de lune". Fauré composed many of his most highly regarded works in his later years, in a more harmonically and melodically complex style. His music has been described as linking the end of Romanticism with 20th century modernism.


Pascal Rogé (born 6 April 1951) is a French pianist. At the age of 11, he was admitted to the Paris Conservatoire and won first prize for both piano and chamber music by the age of 15. Rogé's particular strengths lie in his sensitive and personal interpretations of 20th century French composers; he has made recordings of complete cycles of Ravel, Poulenc, and Satie, among others. His repertoire also includes d'Indy, Saint-Saëns, as well as the great German masters -- Haydn, Mozart, Brahms, and Beethoven.


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