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Faure: Pelleas Et Melisande Dolly

4.5 out of 5 stars 11 customer reviews

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Audio CD, January 11, 1988
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Editorial Reviews

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Seiji Ozawa has repeatedly shown a flair for the French repertory, and here he delivers an unusually passionate reading of Fauré's masterpiece, one that exhibits great sensitivity and a fine feel for pacing. Ozawa is clearly drawn to the tragic element in the music, and is most persuasive in the score's outer movements. A point of particular interest is the inclusion of a song entitled "Chanson de Mélisande," which Fauré set directly in English. There is some wonderfully coloristic solo work from the Bostonians in these performances, and the orchestral discipline is excellent. Although the violins seem to have been recorded in rather harsh light, the sound is quite satisfactory. --Ted Libbey
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Product Details

  • Performer: Gabriel Fauré, Seiji Ozawa, Lorraine Hunt, Tanglewood Festival Chorus, Boston Symphony Orchestra, et al.
  • Audio CD (January 11, 1988)
  • SPARS Code: DDD
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Deutsche Grammophon
  • ASIN: B000001G8P
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #69,631 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

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Gabriel Faure really wrote such beautiful music. It doesn't challenge you at all. It's just one gorgeous melody after the other. He was quite unique in the way he combined his melodies with harmony. Faure, like Saint-Saens (his teacher), was a gifted melody writer. I even recall humming a Faure melody for a month at one point! Anyway, he composed melodic, tuneful music that should appeal to fans of all classical music. Another one of his claims to fame was he was Maurice Ravel's teacher. You can hear the influence of Faure in Ravel's harmonic language.

On this recording, one of the best Faure collections I've heard, Ozawa leads you through the calm gentle waves of Faure's music. Like I said, this music does not challenge you, if you're looking for something that is aggressive, then you will have to look elsewhere. The Boston Symphony Orchestra play wonderfully throughout and only demonstrating yet again while they're one of the top orchestras in the United States.

There is very little to find wrong here and the audio quality is really good. A winning Faure disc. Highly recommended.

Other Faure recordings to checkout:

Fauré: Requiem, Op. 48; Pelléas et Mélisande, Suite, Op. 80; Pavane, Op. 50
Faure Requiem Op.48 / Durufle Requiem Op.9
Fauré: Orchestra Works
Faure: Pelleas et Melisande; Masques Et Bergamasques (Incidental Music)
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The composer, pianist and organist Gabriel Urbain Fauré (b 1845 -d1924) was, perhaps, the first French composer of his contemporaries, and his musical élan charmed many Twentieth Century composers. His sympathetic and pleasing melodic language impacted the methods of structuring and teaching music with respect to the composition and progression of chords - a combination of three or more notes that blend harmoniously when sounded together.

At the end of his life he had severe hearing impairment, that rendered him deaf.

His childhood was spent with a foster-nurse, and then at nine, he studied for some eleven years the organ and choir as part of religious ceremony.

Faure was lucky to have had the opportunity to follow his courses with several outstanding French contemporary musicians, like Camille Saint-Saëns, who introduced him to the music of several celebrity composers, including Franz Liszt and Robert Schuman. Later on he travelled to Weimar where he also met Liszt and Cologne to see Richard Wagner's production: the Ring.

In this recording we have: Pelléas et Mélisande, Op. 80, Après un rêve, Op. 7, Pavane, Op. 50, Élégie, Op. 24, and Dolly, Op. 56, 6-pieces Suite for piano at 4 hands -"Berceuse", "Mi-a-ou", "Le Jardin de Dolly", "Kitty-Valse", "Tendresse", "Le Pas Espagnol" -. Composed between 1893 and 1912 -

Faure's music during this period transfuses a cauldron of love and agony, personal grief may have influenced his composition but enriched the world's musical repertoire.

Dolly suite is lovely, initially composed for piano duet in 1893-97 dedicated to Miss Helene Bardac - dolly - to whose mother Emma (later Debussy's second wife) Faure was greatly affectionate at the time.

Listen to it and enjoy.....
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Turn off everything that makes a noise, including the kids, the dog, the cat and the parakeet, lay back, close your eyes and enjoy. It's that good! Faure hints at a theme starting in track 1, culminating in track IV (part III) the Sicilienne that is so good, it ranks as one of the best movements ever, it's right up there with the 2nd movement in Rachmaninoff's Rhapsody on a theme of Paganini (Gary Graffmann), and Beethoven's opening of the 5th Symphony, and the disc gets better from there. The incomparable soprano Lorraine Hunt tells a story in the 3rd track with her tone and voice inflection filling in the details.

Track 7, Pavane is spectacular, and so is Track 14, Le Pas Espagnol (Dolly, op.56).

This disc is a treasure!
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Not the most prolific, but perhaps the most highly regarded of the french composers. This album is really beautiful, wonderful music, performance and recording.

It's Seiji Ozawa and the Boston Symphony on DG. How can you go wrong here?
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This CD contains selections that are both characteristic of his style and very melodic and lyrical. A good choice to get a comprehensive overview of this wonderful composer's work. Beautifully played and sung as well.
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I have never been much of a fan of Seiji Ozawa; in fact, in my list of favorite conductors, he's on the "relief pitcher" roster, but, obviously, RCA and DG have disagreed with my opinion for many decades. That said, this is a wonderful recording. I can't really imagine finding a better recording Faure's orchestral works. And how can you go wrong with a concert (not live) featuring Lorraine Hunt Leiberson in an excerpt from "Pelleas et Melisande", a chorus supported "Pavane", and the beautiful "Apres un reve"? The recording is very natural and warm; the BSO responds well to Ozawa, and he conducts with subtly and grace. HIGHLY RECOMMENED!
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