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ClassicsOnline Home » FAURÉ, G.: Masques et bergamasques Suite / Pelléas et Mélisande Suite / Dolly Suite / Pavane / Fantaisie / Berceuse (Seattle Symphony, Morlot)
Fauré Orchestral Music
The Seattle Symphony Orchestra under its new conductor Ludovic Morlot continues its recording series with a new CD that features several works of the famous French composer, organist, pianist, and teacher Gabriel Faure (1845-1924), whose musical style influenced many 20th-century composers.
All of the works on this new CD have been recorded previously, and some of them have been recorded in more than one version - e.g. the Pavane, Op. 50 is available in both choral and orchestral-only performances. Any attempt to compare these new performances versus recordings of earlier ones would probably be an exercise in frustration.
The performances on this new CD seem excellent to me, the tempi sound about average compared with one or two other versions, and the recorded sound is first-class. Were I looking for a CD with this particular grouping of most of Faure's best-known and most popular pieces, I would definitely purchase it.
- Ted Wilksmore....
A good recording to start with
I received a package with three discs to review. When I asked a colleague which one to begin with, he said, "Start with the Fauré." It was good advice. The Seattle Symphony has founded their own record label, and this inaugural release is a strong debut release.
The plush romanticism of Fauré's music seems a perfect match for the Seattle Symphony's ensemble sound. Pelléas et Mélisande was recorded before a particularly well-behaved live audience, and the entire program was recorded in installments over a two year period. Yet the album has a surprisingly uniform sound.
And what a sound! The recorded ensemble has an expansive, warm sound that serves the music well. A real standout is the Pavane, which includes the Seattle Symphony Chorale singing with the intimate delicacy of a chamber choir.
Ludovich Morlot brings out the personality of each work; the light-heartedness of Masques et Bergamasques, the charming innocence of Dolly. the dark beauty of Pelléas et Méllisande. And the featured soloists from within the orchestra are worthy of note, too. Flutist Demarre McGill (Fantaisie for Flute), violinist Alexander Velinzon (Berceuse), and cellist Efe Baltacigil (Élégie) effectively communicate the emotions of their respective works, making them much more substantial than mere showpieces.
My colleague was right. If you have a choice of what to listen to, start with the Fauré.more....
Exquisite Harmonies, Transparent Textures
Lots of competition here. Some of it is formidable, i.e., Ansermet, Marriner and Tortelier. Despite this, there is much to praise. The all Faure program is generous (70 minutes) and includes some attractive obscurities, e.g., the seldom encountered choral setting of the famous Pavane. The three first chair players of the S.S. all acquit themselves with grace and confidence in the pieces requiring a soloist. Maestro Morlot leads nuanced, insightful readings of these marvelous scores. The Pelleas and Melisande is a perfect illustration of the high level of results attained. Clearly, conductor and orchestra are completely at ease with this repertoire. The engineering is luminous, spacious and realistically balanced. A home run for all involved.more....
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FAURÉ, G.: Masques et bergamasques Suite / Pelléas...