There can be no better antidote to the intensity of the Austro-German school of music making than exposure to Poulenc’s lightness of spirit. Much the same could be said of Ibert’s Three short pieces that gets this French-themed Crespo Series off to a cheerful start. Poulenc’s delightful Sextet follows, one minute all romantic seriousness, the next surreal craziness. Fauré worked on his First Piano Quintet for over twenty years, the final creation is a delicately crafted work, whose beauty is always restrained and its calmness belies the immense labour it cost the composer.
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