Sunday, 6 July 2014

May 2014 - Classical Music

Dvorak - String Quartets 10 and 13
  • Violin Sonatas 1 and 2
  • Cello Sonatas 1 and 2
  • Piano Quartets 1 and 2
  • Piano Quintets 1 and 2
  • Piano Trio
  • String Quartet
It was a difficult month.

I stopped listening to classical music for a couple of weeks, roughly coinciding with the start of the month. And then the month got more difficult on a personal level, and I found myself anxiously searching for music that would both express my mood and change it.

And I grabbed for the chamber music of Gabriel Faure.

All 10 of his large-scale works ended up loaded onto my iPhone. There were times in the last 6 or 7 weeks when I listened to little else. I drowned myself in these masterpieces. I listened over and over again, hoping to grasp every note. In some cases I ended up listening while reading the score.

This was actually the first time I'd ever listened to the string quartet, which was Faure's last work, because I decided to save it for the end of my chronological journey through his compositions. That started in September 2012, by the way, so that's... 21 months of occasional listening to get to the end of his career. With 60+ years of music.

There are still more works to collect, choral music in particular. I still don't even own a copy of the Requiem which for many people seems to be the one work of Faure's that they do own! Aside from that there are a few violin works, a couple for harp, two operas and various incidental music (some of which I'm not even sure is recorded).

I suspect, though, that it will always be this chamber music that I'm drawn to, with its subtle interplay of lines, its constant evolution, its yearning, its passion. There are 34 movements here, and it's difficult to find a weak one anywhere. There's certainly enough quality to sustain many hours of listening.

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