Fauré's Piano Quartets

Article excerpt

FAURÉ'S PIANO QUARTETS Gabriel Fauré. Premier quatuor pour piano, violon, alto, et violoncelle en ut mineur, op. 15. Deuxième quatuor pour piano, violon, alto, et violoncelle en sol mineur, op 45. Édités par Denis Herlin. (Oeuvres com- plètes, sér. V, vol. 2.) (Musica gallica.) Kassel: Bärenreiter, 2010. [Preface in Fre., Eng., Ger., p. vii-x; intro. in Fre., Eng., Ger., p. xi-xlvii; facsims., p. xlix-lvii; score, p. 3-177; abbrevs., p. 180; crit. report in Fre., Eng., p. 181-221; appendix, p. 222. ISMN 979-0-006-54451-6; pub. no. BA 9462. i315.]

Collected-works volumes are now selling for increasingly higher prices relative to the price of bread due at least in part to the declining market for such publications. And the increasing prices are in turn decreasing the number of libraries and individuals who would once have purchased these editions as a matter of course. Students at small colleges, or local musicians taking advantage of their medium-sized public library would have at one time had easy access to the Fauré Oeuvres complètes, but shrinking collections budgets in libraries everywhere has limited students' and performers' access to important repertoire in reliable and accurate editions. The good news is that many publishers, including Bärenreiter, are issuing associated practical editions of scores and parts to be used for performance. These practical editions provide the critical edition of the score as it appears in the volume of the Oeuvres complètes, Gesamtausgabe, or Collected Works, usually with a brief introduction and the essential critical notes. Musicians can now mark up the cheaper performing edition for their performance or analysis rather than the expensive collected-works volumes. This certainly makes librarians happy.

The two piano quartets by Gabriel Fauré published in series 5, volume 2, in the much needed Oeuvres complètes have been issued in such separate editions. (So that the bibliographical headnote to this brief review does not exceed the length of the review itself, I did not include there the complete information on these editions, but in short: Piano Quartet op. 15, score and parts, BA 7903, i39.95; and Piano Quartet op. 45, score and parts, BA 7904, i39.95.) Similar to the editions of Ravel as mentioned above, Fauré's compositions were not well treated by their original publishers. …