Both exponents of chamber music, Claude Debussy was 17 years younger than Gabriel Fauré. Even so, they frequented the same social circles in the Parisian fin de siècle. Debussy became one of the most important protagonists of the break with tonal romanticism. But it all began on “paths” blazed by figures such as César Franck and Fauré. His Piano Trio in G Major dates from 1880. At the time, he was only 17 years old and accompanied the family of Nadezhda von Meck (Tchaikovsky’s patron) on a trip through Italy. These four movements do not, therefore, reflect the diffuse sonorities that today we most readily associate with the author of La mer. Fauré’s artistic profile, on the other hand, was even more discreet and delicate, although he was also prone to innovation. Perhaps the quintessence of his legacy is the paradoxical combination of classical formalism and romantic sentimentality. We can identify this balance both in the profound simplicity of the Elegia for cello and piano and in the elegance and technical mastery of the Trio with Piano, two works separated by more than four decades. The first, from 1880, was designed as the slow movement of a sonata that was never completed. It succeeded as a stand-alone piece and was even orchestrated years later by the composer himself. The second, from 1923, is one of his last creations. Premiered on his 78th birthday, it calls for attentive listening to the subtleties of the writing and the expressive refinement. It stands out for its careful contrapuntal articulation and the exquisite combination of the timbres of the violin, cello and piano.
Debussy & Fauré
C. Debussy Trio with Piano
G. Fauré Trio with Piano
G. Fauré Elegia, for cello and piano
Carlos Damas violin, Jian Hong cello, Anna Tomasik piano