Sunday, November 04, 2012

Faure plays Faure

Ah, Monsieur Gabriel! It's the anniversary of his death, today - he left the world on 4 November 1924, aged 79. In 1913 he made this Welte Mignon recording of his own Pavane.

I have always had severe doubts about 'reproducing pianos', but the fact remains that it's all we have and it may tell us something valuable about his playing, even if not everything we would like to know. The rigour of his basic rhythm, for instance; the driving force of the harmony in the left hand; the layering of the voicing; and one instance in which it sounds suspiciously as if he's making the musical most of a slip of a finger. Pianists, take note!

His own words about the merits of the Welte-Mignon system are worth a read, too (they're on this film).