Sonate pour piano?

Can you think of a famous late nineteenth/early twentieth century French piano sonata? If you drew a blank, don’t worry, it’s not all that surprising – the list of composers who didn’t write one reads like a Who’s-Who of French music of the fin de siècle: Gounod, Massenet, Saint-Saëns, Chabrier, Fauré, Chausson, Debussy, Satie, Ravel […]

Nocturnes vs. Barcarolles

Solo piano music forms a large part of Fauré’s output. And, while there are pieces with such titles as ‘impromptu’ and ‘valse-caprice’, the greatest body of work (26 opuses in all) is collected together under two headings: Nocturnes and Barcarolles. The initial stimulus for these is clearly derived from Chopin, as is the musical style […]

Sphinx

No. 1  No. 2  No. 3  These mysterious groups of notes appear between the eighth (Replique) and ninth (Papillons) of Schumann’s Opus 9 collection of 21 piano pieces, Carnaval. If you remember, the Sphinx was famous for her riddles (What is that which has one voice and yet becomes four-footed and two-footed and three-footed?) And […]