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Thread: Nocturnes of Gabriel Fauré

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    Default Nocturnes of Gabriel Fauré

    I don't know why I'm still trying to dig Fauré - I don't get most of his music, but fascinating thing about him that he is completely out of any straight style. Not romantic, not impressionist - just Gabriel Fauré, one of a kind.

    One of those works that clearly belong to fauréism is his impressively extensive set of piano nocturnes. Are they influenced by Chopin? Perhaps, but that doesn't seem clear to me if they are closer to Ravel and Debussy or to Chopin and other romantics. It's just music that I don't know how to approach because they're so atypical - what to expect, where to turn attention?

    Thoughts anyone? General views or even favourite pieces among these?

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    Senior Member Charon's Avatar
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    I wouldn't consider myself an expert on the matter, but his nocturnes seem to be caught somewhere between the romantic and impressionist. I heard somewhere that some people refer to him as the "French Brahms".

    I picked up a recording of his nocturnes a few months ago, played by Charles Owen.

    As for my favourite of the set of nocturnes... I do enjoy all of them, but if I had to choose a few that I liked most of the bunch today, then they would be:

    No. 6
    No. 10
    No. 11
    No. 12
    No. 13

    While listening to some of the nocturnes you can almost imagine that Chopin was looking over his shoulder while Faure was writing them.

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    Senior Member HarpsichordConcerto's Avatar
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    Good timing. Guess what I just ordered? Faure: Oeuvre Pour Piano Integrale (complete piano works), 4 CDs played by Jean Hubeau (piano). (Warner Classics, cheapy chips label).

    Surprisingly, not bad.


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    Senior Member Sebastien Melmoth's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by HarpsichordConcerto View Post
    Played by Jean Hubeau. Surprisingly, not bad.
    No surprize: Hubeau was an entirely competent and respected artist.

    His recording of Dukas' extraordinary Piano Sonata remains an acme.

    http://www.amazon.com/Dukas-Piano-Wo...0707631&sr=1-1

    For Fauré's late Nocturnes, Naxos has a very commendable issue by Jean Martin.

    http://www.amazon.com/Fauré-Nocturne...0707678&sr=1-2

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    Senior Member TresPicos's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Charon View Post
    I wouldn't consider myself an expert on the matter, but his nocturnes seem to be caught somewhere between the romantic and impressionist. I heard somewhere that some people refer to him as the "French Brahms".
    Aha, now I understand why I have trouble understanding a lot of Fauré's music, including the nocturnes.

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    After many years, Collard still does it for me in these and other Faure works.

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    Senior Member Conor71's Avatar
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    I dont know about his Piano Music Aramis but I really like Faure's Chamber Music and would recommend you check it out if you havent already! .

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    Senior Member JMJ's Avatar
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    Big fan of this very great composer ... and especially these pieces .. which I consider Every Classical Music Fan Should Own .. if you hit that link you'll find the boxed set of his piano music that is definitive.

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    Senior Member StlukesguildOhio's Avatar
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    I quite love Faure's work myself, as well. Beyond the obvious Requiem, his nocturnes and chamber music are quite lovely. I'm most enamored, however, of his songs which rank along side those of Ravel, Debussy, Duparc, and the other masters of the French melodie.

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    only that I had blue robes and their hair auburn, but not rude but just dispelled by themselves, there is no wind and they still would have always been dispelled and I flew se, in his spare time in the countryside - where the landlady I'd reveled and flew and blew dry with ropes on which would come or even if they have precipitated hung from her hands and my enemy would be the god of sea and we fought each other for example, would have been a sailor who is faithful to me and worship me, but the sea god hates him and He runs his ship and the sea god makes a big storm waves and frets that she's me put a rock but I'd wind blew in the sails so that a good way to bring him in August and so we struggled and war goddess and her boobs and Doland Duck and Daisy and a fop example, she would want the victory of one of the warring armies and the god of the sea to the shore the waves pounded them and I tore out trees and blew them in their ranks, and who killed more ago she can suck and my seat would be a snowy mountain peak in the cave would have their lair

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    Senior Member StlukesguildOhio's Avatar
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    You need to lay off whatever it is you're drinking or smoking...

    or share it with the rest of us.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Aramis View Post
    I don't know why I'm still trying to dig Fauré - I don't get most of his music, but fascinating thing about him that he is completely out of any straight style. Not romantic, not impressionist - just Gabriel Fauré, one of a kind.

    One of those works that clearly belong to fauréism is his impressively extensive set of piano nocturnes. Are they influenced by Chopin? Perhaps, but that doesn't seem clear to me if they are closer to Ravel and Debussy or to Chopin and other romantics. It's just music that I don't know how to approach because they're so atypical - what to expect, where to turn attention?

    Thoughts anyone? General views or even favourite pieces among these?
    Yes, Nocturne No 4. I have Roge's interpretations of 1-5, but need to get the rest. I've been listening to other interpretations on Youtube and its amazing how playing times range from just over 5 to over 8 minutes. I prefer the slower.

    Try this - if you're a fan of the fourth. I like the Germaine Thyssens-Valentin (24:28) and the second theme passage from 26:09 to 28:58

    Last edited by MacLeod; Sep-29-2018 at 08:15.

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    Senior Member philoctetes's Avatar
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    Eight years between posts. back then I would not have been listening to Faure at all, now he's getting heavy rotation... and it was indeed Thyssens-Valentine that got me hooked.

    I did one more quick listen to some Chopin yesterday, Arrau's Ballades, and I still can't stand Chopin. after all these years so I finally I give up. Who wants my complete set of Arrau's Chopin? I should have been listening to Faure all along. How far they can be similar is something I can hardly consider. I'd agree that Faure is really like no one.

    I also heard a couple Nocturnes by Francois, quite good until the usual left hand patterns begin to annoy me and the right hand starts climbing stairways, followed by the usual cascade...

    For me Chopin is the Brahms of piano, traditional methods plied with excess supported by heavy theory, taking all the fruit off the tree until nothing is left. Everybody after him has to be different, not similar...
    Last edited by philoctetes; Sep-29-2018 at 16:03.

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    Quote Originally Posted by philoctetes View Post
    Eight years between posts. back then I would not have been listening to Faure at all, now he's getting heavy rotation... and it was indeed Thyssens-Valentine that got me hooked.

    I did one more quick listen to some Chopin yesterday, Arrau's Ballades, and I still can't stand Chopin. after all these years so I finally I give up. Who wants my complete set of Arrau's Chopin? I should have been listening to Faure all along. How far they can be similar is something I can hardly consider. I'd agree that Faure is really like no one.

    I also heard a couple Nocturnes by Francois, quite good until the usual left hand patterns begin to annoy me and the right hand starts climbing stairways, followed by the usual cascade...

    For me Chopin is the Brahms of piano, traditional methods plied with excess supported by heavy theory, taking all the fruit off the tree until nothing is left. Everybody after him has to be different, not similar...
    I can see where you’re coming from. IMO both these composers, Chopin and Fauré, got better as they matured, the later work is for me the most interesting to hear in both cases.
    Last edited by Mandryka; Sep-29-2018 at 16:18.

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    Senior Member philoctetes's Avatar
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    One thing I forgot to mention that I've been thinking about... Chopin, like Satie, uses chord patterns in the left hand that are very recognizable, they both have a "tread" about them. perhaps Chopin's is more varied...

    Satie is always dissed as a composer but not Chopin, yet the variety and theoretical basis of Satie seems to compare well with Chopin.... the latter puts more demand on the performer, which I care less about, especially when listening at home... live is another matter of course... but at home I find that I prefer the "lesser" composer, Satie...

    the other composers, Faure, Ravel, Debussy, are more elusive... maybe the right and left hands are less divided... I'm not a pianist so I'm just guessing... but I don't feel like I'm watching a bad carpenter at work when I listen to them...
    Last edited by philoctetes; Sep-29-2018 at 16:43.

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