Faure: Piano Quintet No. 1 in D minor; Piano Quintet No. 2 in C minor

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COMPOSERS: Faure
LABELS: CPO
WORKS: Piano Quintet No. 1 in D minor; Piano Quintet No. 2 in C minor
PERFORMER: Peter Orth (piano) Auryn Quartet
CATALOGUE NO: 999 357-2

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As the First Quintet floats its modal melody across revolving piano patterns, many listeners must wonder why this haunting experience is so rarely placed alongside Fauré’s piano quartets. Into an expansive fluency it infuses a restless concentration, exploring untypically varied textures.

No. 2 is more subdued and compressed until the fierce finale, raging from darkness into light. The quintet adds a scherzo, fleet and light like an experimental variation on Fauré’s familiar First Violin Sonata.

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Orth and the Auryn Quartet take a Romantic and introverted view of music that has the muscle to respond to more passion. But they rise to the big moments and supply the composer’s essential need of a stable pulse, and their acoustic is ideal: intimate yet with space to breathe. Robert Maycock