Fauré: Orchestral Works / Tortelier, BBC Philharmonic
Masques et bergamasques, which takes its title from Verlaine’s sad, mysterious poem Clair de lune, is a late stage work that the composer himself described as melancholy and nostalgic, but it is hardly romantic, being instead pointedly neo-classical in character and shape, recalling Bizet’s youthful C major Symphony and Grieg’s Holberg Suite. Here, too, we find Faure the transcriber, for all but one of the pieces in this orchestral suite of four are revisions of much earlier piano pieces. The playing here under Tortelier is very satisfying, as are the elegant flute solos of the exquisitely delicate Pavane, here performed without the optional chorus, and in Dolly. The rarely heard Overture to the opera Penelope is also effectively presented here – as is everything in this generous programme. There’s little rhetoric and no bombast in Faure’s art, but how civilized he was, and what sympathetic interpreters serve him here! Chandos’s warm yet delicate recording suits the music well.
-- Christopher Headington, Gramophone [5/1996]
Catalog Number: CHAN 9416
Composer: Gabriel Fauré
Conductor: Yan Pascal Tortelier
Orchestra/Ensemble: BBC Philharmonic Orchestra
Performer: Kathryn Stott, Peter Dixon, Richard Davis