Fauré: Masques et bergamasques; Fantaisie; Pelléas et Mélisande – Suite; Berceuse; Élégie; Dolly (orch Rabaud); Pavane

Reviewed on Fri 08 Aug, 2014

The Seattle Symphony has launched its own label and this generous Fauré anthology (one of of four initial releases) leaves a most favourable impression. Drawing some delectably poised and conspicuously alert playing throughout, Lyon-born Ludovic Morlot shows a real empathy for this lovely repertoire, distilling every ounce of grace, tenderness and poignancy from the Pelléas et Mélisande and Dolly suites in particular. Elsewhere, there are admirable contributions from the Seattle Symphony Chorale in the haunting Pavane as well as from the three orchestral principals in the Fantaisie, Berceuse and Élégie (with cellist Efe Baltacigil especially eloquent in the last). The recordings span a period of some 19 months (from October 2011 to May 2013), yet are remarkably consistent in their transparency, bloom and truthful perspective (Seattle's Benaroya Hall boasts a very kind acoustic). A propitious start to a new venture – and very enjoyable indeed!
–Andrew Achenbach