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The most authorative complete recording of Fauré’s intoxicating pianistic flowers. The fact that Verlaine found his composer in Gabriel Fauré – that Clair de lune from Fêtes galantes and La Bonne Chanson rank among the composer’s most outstanding successes – does not mean that Fauré should only been seen as the composer of hazy dreams, of quicksilver emotions, of startled outpourings for fair turn-of-the-century listeners. The Nocturnes alone – composed over a span of almost 40 years (1883–1922) – would suffice to prevent any identification of the composer, trained in the rigorous discipline of the Niedermeyer School, with the impressionist poet. Verlaine delights in the uncertainty of feelings and landscapes, thereby entertaining a confusion between a hazy exterior and the irresolutions of an aching soul – a continuing game of deceit. In Fauré, on the other hand, one finds no such ambiguity: his consciousness does not allow itself to dissolve into a world where objects have completely lost their outline. Northern mists, a murky chiaroscuro, an unhealthy twilight, this is what suits Verlaine’s equivocal Nocturnes. Fauré is a man from the South: his Night retains all the luminosity and brightness of the Mediterranean, paths can be made out and emotions do not stray off into an uneasy twilight zone.

Nocturnes Nos. 1-13
Thème & Variations, Op. 73
Ballade in F sharp major for solo piano or piano & orchestra, Op. 19
Préludes (9), Op. 103
Barcarolles Nos. 1-13
Impromptus Nos. 1-5
Valses Caprices (4)
Pièces brèves (8), Op. 84
Mazurka, Op. 32
Romances sans paroles (3), Op. 17
Dolly Suite, Op. 56
Bruno Rigutto (piano)
Souvenirs de Bayreuth
Bruno Rigutto (piano)
Jean-Philippe Collard (piano)