"For me editing Fauré’s music has been endlessly satisfying as well as a musical revelation. I’d long been aware that older editions were teeming with misprints or illogical markings that left many pieces feeling oddly out of focus, or at worst made some works just fall flat.
"It’s been thrilling to find solutions to these problems in manuscripts or other rare sources, including witness accounts of Fauré’s playing and musical coaching. Neglected pieces like the Ninth and Tenth Nocturnes emerge with dramatic cogency, more familiar pieces like the Pavane and the Dolly ‘Berceuse’ take a fresher spring in their step, and pianists, flautists, violinists and cellists at last have access to some beautiful pieces hitherto unavailable. It has been the opportunity of a lifetime to bring all this marvellous and vital material into print.
"Fauré himself was a character of unpretentious but constant wit and playfulness; these qualities brim over in his scores, which he marked up boldly for performance, often with indications printed or clarified for the first time in the new Peters editions. All this accords with the memoirs of musicians who worked with Fauré, as well as his own son Philippe who emphasised the importance of ‘playing out the drama’ in this entrancing, passionate music."
Roy Howat, Series Editor
In these days of multiple fine editions of most musical masterpieces, it is rare indeed for a new edition to make a substantial difference to how a major composer’s music might actually sound. However, this has happened in the case of Fauré.
In common with many composers, Fauré’s relationships with his original publishers were often less than satisfactory. Given the general precision of his written intentions, this can to some extent be ascribed to his publishers’ shortcomings. However, in certain aspects, Fauré set considerable challenges for his editors, notably regarding tempo and metronome indications – a fact he came to acknowledge.
The longevity of copyright protection militated against the proper evaluation of such textual ambiguities, some of them crucial to the essence of a performance, until many years after the composer’s death. Since the mid-1990’s, however, Fauré aficionados have had significant cause to be grateful to the renowned French music specialist, Roy Howat, for his painstaking and pioneering work in equipping us with the range of information required for cohesive and convincing interpretations.
Some of the volumes offer pieces not previously available in any other standard publication. Each edition features a preface in French. All original pieces are presented in fully critical Urtext editions, with no unspecified editorial accretions. This even extends to fingering; any such indications are by the composer himself. Although Fauré was by no means a purist regarding arrangements of his music, the arrangements and transcriptions in some of these volumes are also presented with due fidelity to all extant sources.