In this centenary year of Fauré's death, the richness and beauty of the composer's dazzling piano music is a revelation. Both monumental and subtle, the music explored in this series reveal a refined artistry that deserves a wider hearing. Brilliant and colourful pieces by Fauré's pupil Ravel provide a refreshing contrast to the main items in these concerts.
Fauré's third and fourth Barcarolles combine charm, dazzling display and, particularly in the third, spacious exuberance on an impressive scale. Although relatively early pieces from the 1880s, these are poised and masterly. Ravel's Le Tombeau de Couperin was conceived at the beginning of the First World War simply as a homage to the tradition of early 18th century French keyboard music. However, the devastating loss of friends at the front, Ravel's direct experience of the war as a military driver, and equally importantly his mother's death in 1917, changed the intention of the work to a memorial to fallen friends - and almost certainly also to his mother. The rapturous reception in 1919 to its first performance established the cycle as a classic. Fauré's Nocturnes 3-7, with the exception of no 3, are monumental narratives, constantly evolving and shifting from contemplation to impassioned quest, from the mysterious to the ecstatic. Few compositions of this or any period are as arresting.
Oslo-born David Christophersen is Artistic Director of the Cambridge Concert Series at West Road Concert Hall and has performed throughout the UK including at the Woburn Abbey Festival, Bristol St George's, Edinburgh's Reid Hall, Oxford's Hollywell Music Room and London's St John's Smith Square. He has also broadcast for BBC Radio 3. Recent projects have included premieres of new solo and chamber works by Jeremy Thurlow, Maria Ptaszynska and Robin Holloway, performances with Marie-Noelle Kendall of Holloway's monumental Gilded Goldbergs and a tour with Prokofiev's War Sonatas.
The complete Fauré Centenary Recital programme:
7th February 2024 - Fauré: Nocturnes 1-2; Barcarolles 1-2; 5 Impromptus; Ravel: Sonatine
15th May 2024 - Fauré: Nocturnes 3-7; Barcarolles 3-4; Ravel: Le Tombeau de Couperin
19th September 2024 - Fauré: Nocturnes 8-10; Barcarolles 5-7; Ravel Jeux d'eau; Holloway: Scherzo alla Ciaconna
6th December 2024 - Fauré: Theme & Variations; Barcarolle 8; Nocturne 11; Ravel: Gaspard de la nuit
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