For this second part of the week-end dedicated to French chamber music, the Ébène Quartet performs works by Fauré and Franck, accompanied by the pianist Eric Le Sage and joined by the violinist Daishin Kashimoto, the viola player Lise Berthaud and the cellist François Salque.
At the dawn of the 21st century in France, chamber music groups flourish through the impetus given by musical companies which the most important to quote is the Société Nationale de Musique created in 1871, that widely contributed to popularize works.
Gabriel Fauré, who composed numerous chamber music works, devoted the end of his life to this repertoire and played a major role in the promotion of chamber music. After three years in composing this first Piano Quintet, he dedicated his work to Eugène Ysaÿe, who declared that Fauré's style of quintet was a kind of "absolute music". Marked by its musical depth and its melancholic themes, this first quintet which he had so much waited the completion reflects that Fauré's style has grown again in maturity.Through the Piano Quartet No. 1 in C Minor, Op. 15, some elements of the interiority of the composer appear. The work is more characterized by its high Romantism, indeed he composed it between 1876 and 1879 after he broke his engagement with the young Marianne Viardot.
As for César Franck, he composed several chamber music works after a long silent time: indeed he had not composed chamber music for more than thirty-five years! The Quintet for Piano and Strings in F Minor he composed in 1879 and dedicated to Saint-Saëns is part of his masterpieces of chamber music. It is considered the first great quintet in the French repertoire. Franck introduced in particular the notion of cyclical shape of several themes between musical movements.
Recorded at the Paris Salle Pleyel
Verbier Festival 2008