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Fauré: Piano Quintets Nos. 1 & 2 / Ébène Quartet; Eric Le Sage: piano

Notes & Reviews:

In a genre set by Boccherini, represented in the 19th century by the masterpieces of Schumann, Brahms, and Franck, Gabriel Fauré composed two scores that were very different from his early romances and the evanescent "lullaby of death" that is the Requiem. The Piano Quintet Op. 89 remains little known for reasons related to its composition as much as its history. Regarded by Koechlin as one of Fauré's finest works, it serves as a transition to the composer's final stylistic period. The Piano Quintet No. 2, Op. 115, surprisingly less melancholy than its predecessor, is one of the composer's last productions. In the evening of his life, Fauré demonstrated his supreme mastery and prodigious creative power, giving French chamber music one of its finest monuments.

American Record Guide, March / April 2013
The performances of Le Sage and the Quatour Ebene are as fine as I've ever heard. Both the recorded sound and each player's tone are glorious, and ensemble and intonation are perfect. Most important, they've caught the essential French spirit of the works. He would surely be proud of these performances.


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