Gabriel Fauré's French Poise

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At the end of his life Gabriel Fauré wrote, “When I am no longer here, what of my work? Will any of it live on?” On this second episode dedicated to the composer, David Dubal answers that question with an hour of Fauré's piano music that clearly establishes him as an unequaled exponent of French music. Fauré was not a showman like Camille Saint-Saens, nor a colorful painter like Claude Debussy. His works are more contemplative and graceful, especially as Fauré struggled with aging and deafness in his later years.

Dubal recounts how Fauré witnessed some of the greatest upheavals in history — cultural and otherwise — and stood fast in his musical vision. The program includes recordings from the legendary Arthur Rubinstein, brother-and-sister team Steven and Loretta Mento, and Fauré's great American advocate, Grant Johannesen. The centerpiece of this program is a recording of Robert Casadesus with Leonard Bernstein and the New York Philharmonic performing the Ballade in F-sharp minor, which began its life as a solo work until Franz Liszt told Fauré to get back to his studio and orchestrate it.

Program playlist (all by Gabriel Fauré):

Romances sans Paroles No. 2
Grant Johannesen, piano
Golden Crest

Valse Caprice No. 1 in A major OP. 30
Vladimir Valjarevic, piano

Kitty Valse
Steven and Loretta Mento, piano

Nocturne Op. 84 in D flat major
Charles Owen, piano

Ballad for Piano and Orchestra in F flat
Robert Casadesus, piano; Leonard Bernstein, conductor; New York Philharmonic

Impromptu for Piano No. 5 in F sharp minor
Paul Crossley, piano

Nocturne No. 6 in D flat major Op. 63
Michel Block, piano
Pro Piano

Nocturne No. 3 Op. 33 in A flat
Arthur Rubinstein, piano
Dubal broadcast

Romances sans Paroles No. 3
Grant Johannesen, piano
Golden Crest