Thirteen Nocturnes and as many Barcarolles form the core of the collected output of Gabriel Urbain Fauré for the piano.
Night-time meditations, then, along with inspiration drawn from rippling water (the origins of the barcarolle lie in the songs sung by Venetian gondoliers and the word itself comes from the Italian ‘barca’, a boat.)
Along with some impromptus, preludes and other works, one might rapidly gain the impression of a delightful collection of salon music, whose titles may actually display the influence of Chopin. But this music is so very much more than pretty salon music. In the intimacy of these genres, Faure succeeded time and again in nothing short of exposing his very soul. And the French composer’s style is entirely his own – original and personal – from the first note to the last. – From the booklet notes
‘Minnaar’s identification with this unique realm of music is complete and his deeply felt interpretations shine with clarity and infinite nuance.’Gramophone
‘One very exhilarating recording. Hannes Minnaar’s playing is not only sensitive but also lyrical und sometimes dreamy. With a wide spectrum in sound shades, much refinement and a continuous flow the Dutch pianist’s performances are absolutely fascinating.’Pizzicato
‘Minnaar consistently avoids the kitsch trap. He takes this music seriously and immerses it in different moods: a darkly flowing river, then a pointillistic sequence of small effects, then again a radiant melody over a moving underground.Deutschlandfunk
‘The delicate poetic qualities of Fauré’s piano pieces requires the most sensitive of touches from the pianist tackling them, and it’s clear that Hannes Minnaar is comfortably a master of the idiom.’CD Choice UK
‘The crystal-clear, free-flowing performance fits Fauré’s reserved luminous notes perfectly. It’s amazing how he transforms the nocturnes into musing monologues, or how he consecrates the preludes with mild severity.’De Standaard