Erato’s Fauré Box: There And Back Again

Review by: Jed Distler


Artistic Quality: 8

Sound Quality: 8

We’ve been here before. Most of the Fauré recordings contained in this 12-disc set have been reissued too many times to count. Still, for what it’s worth, Erato’s budget price and original jacket format should entice collectors who’ve yet to add Jean-Philippe Collard’s reference-worthy chamber collaborations and solo piano cycles to their libraries.

Fauré’s Op. 121 string quartet is represented by the Quatuor Parrenin’s aptly taut and transparent interpretation. Michel Plasson presides over all of the concerted works and all of the composer’s theater music, along with a well-sung if instrumentally unmemorable Requiem featuring soloists Barbara Hendricks and José van Dam.

My advice, however, is to try and find a decently priced second-hand copy of Brilliant Classics’ now-unavailable 19-disc Fauré box, which also includes the composer’s opera Pénélopé (with the young Régine Crespin’s unsurpassed account of the title role), the songs with Nicolai Gedda and Elly Ameling, a wider variety of artists in the chamber works, plus the Collard solo piano material. Not that the Erato box dissatisfies, but a little more effort and imagination on the compiler’s part could have yielded a more comprehensively desirable collection.

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Recording Details:

Reference Recording: None for this collection

  • Various soloists
  • Various conductors, orchestras, & ensembles

  • Erato - 0190295655578
  • CD

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