String Quartet by Faure

Today, I happened to listen to this quartet, the only string quartet composed by Faure in his very last years. Not very famous but, no one would deny that it is one of the best string quartets in the history of chamber music.

I used to listen to this music in my student days again and again as if I was infected by a feverish illness of this music. Overlapping motives sung by each instrument and richly tinted harmony compose this music. It should be stressed that it has nothing excessive in its expression. No exaggeration nor decorative phrases. It is the music he could compose only at the last period in his life.

I was carefully listening to it wondering if I felt anything different from my young days. It left almost the same impression to me. Maybe, I could understand even better that he had been occupied only with his music without any distraction. Concentration or accentuation at the middle range of audio in this quartet is often referred to his hearing abnormality developed in his old age, that is, the higher and lower portion of audio sounded to be deviated to the medium range. It must be worse than deafness. Apparently dull sound, even though it expresses rich and profound inner world, is essential to his music, I believe.

His biography by his son tells that he used to utter his music would be forgotten in the future. What modesty! It means he was not concerned about reputation or even evaluation by people at that time as well as in later period. Isn't it a good model how to live in the last part of our lives?

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