This CD is basically
a sampler drawn from Paul Crossley's
complete Regis set of the Fauré
piano music on CRD CRD5006.
With a good cross-section of pieces,
more or less chronologically sequenced,
it's been intelligently chosen, and
forms an admirable single-disc introduction
to some very attractive repertory. From
the early Mendelssohnian Trois Romances
sans paroles to the more austere
and elusive pieces of his old age -
and including his very last piece -
we're offered a near-complete picture
of the composer's stylistic development.
Not just the shorter pieces either:
Regis have included the substantial
Thème et Variations (a
piece frequently compared with Schumann's
Études Symphoniques) which
must count among Fauré's most
ambitious and large-scale creations.
The notes in the CD booklet are nicely
written, and informative, but individual
numbers are poorly identified, with
neither keys nor opus numbers included.
Paul Crossley's no
household name, but I'm not aware of
anything he's committed to disc which
is less than excellent. His musical
judgement and emotional range are completely
sound, and his technique wholly sufficient.
If that sounds like faint praise, it's
not intended to be. I've often argued
that, with complete collections especially,
it's important for recording artists
to capture the full range of a composer's
thinking, but with neither understatement
nor overstatement, so that what we hear
is both involving and objective.
That may sound like an ideal which can't
possibly be realised, but I suggest
that that is exactly what we have here.
catalogue isn't as well known as
it might be. In my experience, they're
not often stocked (certainly not routinely
stocked) by either High Street retailers
or Classical CD specialists, and are
more easily obtained over the internet.
A pity, because there are good things
to be found there, and all at throw-away
prices. I'm willing to bet that every
other person who buys this disc
will end up ordering the complete 5-CD
set from which it comes. And some, on
finding Crossley's playing and the CRD
recordings as satisfying as I have,
will probably go one step further and
order the complete Ravel collection
too which is vevery bit as good! (selection
on Regis RRC1179
[not received for review],
complete on CRD
3383 , CRD
Peter J Lawson