Complete Piano Quartets
MOZART PIANO QUARTET
Gabriel Faure has frequently been termed “the father of Impressionism.” Why this is so rendered very apparent on this state-of-the-art album featuring interpretations of his two Piano Quartets by the superb Mozart Piano Quartet. With great virtuosity, a fine sense of sound, and an intelligent command of the complex overall structure, the four instrumentalists brighten the performance skies with their musical fireworks. The Parisian music world of Faure’s time was characterized by emancipation from Germany hegemony in chamber music after the traumatic outcome of the Franco-Prussian War in 1871 and by the beginnings of an original French musical language beyond the opera. Faure’s quartets draw formally on the tradition- and yet breathe a new spirit: church modes and whole-tone scales mark so many a motif, and here and there, along with the “classical” development of the themes, we also encounter entirely new harmonic fields and soundscapes. For instance, the beginning of the Adagio in op. 45 already suggests Ravel’s “La vallee des cloches” from the Miroirs: like a memory, distant bells ring in the piano part, over which the very lonely viola gives its all in a pastoral song of lament- enchanting! The two slow movements belong to the absolute highlights on this release.