The Well-Tempered Ear

Classical music: YOU MUST HEAR THIS – the sensual sound and sexy music of Gabriel Faure’s Piano Quintet No. 1 | June 1, 2016

By Jacob Stockinger

The other night The Ear heard a recording of Gabriel Faure’s Piano Quintet No. 1 in D Minor, Op. 89.

He had forgotten quite how quietly and intimately sensual, even sexy, it is.

The Ear has never heard the work in a live performance because, unfortunately, it isn’t programmed often – a fate it shares with most of Fauré’s music save his Requiem. But Fauré also wrote beautiful chamber music, songs and solo piano music.

Just listen to the opening watery sounds of the piano and the luscious string sounds. Just listen to the melodies and harmonies. It is such seductive music, filled with yearning and softly stated passion.

See if you don’t agree when you listen to the first movement in the YouTube video at the bottom. (You can also find a complete performance of the work in YouTube.)

It offers more proof that Faure (1845-1924, below), who taught Maurice Ravel, is severely underestimated and underperformed in the non-French music world.


In The COMMENT section, tell The Ear if you agree and what other sexy pieces of chamber music you want others to listen to.



  1. Faure’s Quartet in E minor, op.121, is another mesmerizing piece. I particularly like Quartet Ebene’s interpretation.

    Comment by Augustine Rodriguez — June 1, 2016 @ 9:04 am

  2. I agree that this piece has a lovely, dreamy feel to it.

    Perhaps regrettably, American classical music, in my opinion, is too closely tied to the classical music of Germany. How that came about is likely the subject of many theses.

    Fauré’s music is unmistakably not Germanic. And it should be remembered that most German speaking composers, including Mozart, thought that Italy was the spring source of good music.

    Beethoven, Bach, Mozart, Brahms are all very good; but unfortunately, lots of radios and concert halls think they are the only classical music out there of any note (bad pun). Even the mediocre Haydn gets far too much playing time.

    Comment by fflambeau — June 1, 2016 @ 6:25 am

    • “the mediocre Haydn”…LOL

      Comment by Augustine Rodriguez — June 1, 2016 @ 9:07 am

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