Brilliant Classics’ ‘first and only’ Fauré edition does not offer his complete output, yet it’s quite a substantial representation. Its 19 discs span Désiré-Émile Ingelbrecht’s terse yet oddly sexy 1956 traversal of the opera Pénélope with the young Régine Crespin (still without peer in the title role) to 2005’s concerted works for solo instruments and orchestra, with lots more in between. The relatively new Orchestre de Paris played their hearts out for Serge Baudo in the Masques et bergamasques and Pelléas et Mélisande suites, in contrast with the solid yet not unequivocally supple 1960s Vox Box versions of the String Quartet plus the piano-with-strings Trio, quartets and quintets. I happily reconnected with the cello sonatas featuring the sadly short-lived Thomas Igloi and Clifford Benson, the Mozart-like elegance of Krysia Osostowicz’s violin sonatas with Susan Tomes, and the classic EMI song recordings with Nicolai Gedda and Elly Ameling. But why Sir Colin Davis’s glacial and soporific Requiem with the Staatskapelle Dresden over dozens of other potential contenders? However, JeanPhilippe Collard’s four-disc piano music survey easily deserves its place within this kind of collection.
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