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Catalogue No: EP7711
Shop Product Code: 1804703
Gabriel Faure's Trois Romances sans paroles for Solo Piano, edited by Roy Howat.
Following the release in 2003 of the Urtext Peters Edition publication of Fauré's Pièces brèves (EP 7601), the eminent French music specialist Roy Howat has taken an in-depth look at another lesser-known collection of piano pieces by Gabriel Fauré – Romances sansparoles – to reveal further treasures. Romances sans paroles is French for 'Lieder ohne Worte' or 'Songs without words'. Fauré'sonly three pieces in the genre, suggesting a youthful homage to Mendelssohn, were his first piano pieces to be published. Exactly when he composed them is uncertain, though most of his biographers suggest it could havebeen any time from 1863 onwards (the year he turned eighteen). In fact the Romances sans paroles are not easy, given the pianist's dual occupation with complex accompaniments and melodies that sometimes echo imitatively across voices. (Fauré was ambidextrous, and the pieces might be viewed in several ways asétudes.) It was thus not surprising that theysoon became as popular, if not more so, in arrangements by Jules Delsart for violin or cello accompanied by piano, published by Hamelle in 1896. Whether on Delsart's or Hamelle's initiative, these transcriptions bowdlerise many of Fauré's more daring passing harmonies, especially in the second Romance, the music's full adventurousness, manifest in the piano version, has therefore been long masked from many listeners and performers. (Roy Howat)
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