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Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Gabriel Faure, Quintettes Avec Piano, Eric Le Sage, Quatuor Ebene

I spent years parceling off Gabriel Faure as "that stylistic link between Franck and Debussy." Not that he isn't. But there is so much to his output in itself that the categorization doesn't help a great deal in experiencing the music.

That is most certainly true of the Quatuor Ebene and Eric Le Sage's performances of the Quartettes Avec Piano op. 89 & 115 (Outhere Alpha 602).

The music has depth and the performers give us exemplary versions, emotive and plastic without resorting to histrionics. The op. 89 has impassioned complexity, the op. 115 a sublimity, a restrained lyrical flow and movement within a fertile melodic unfolding. They both bear the mark of Faure's lyric brilliance.

The performances are excellent. Le Sage and Quatuor Ebene achieve a balance and at times a frisson that is high-level and beautifully detailed. Very much recommended.

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