Gabriel Faure was a diminutive figure who wrote mainly for small ensembles yet exercised enormous influence on the music of France, both by the example of purity and refinement in his compositions and through his teaching at the Paris Conservatoire, where he mentored a generation of composers, including Maurice Ravel.
This disc gathers together his complete writings for cello, including the well-known Elegie Op. 24 and the haunting Sicilienne from the incidental music to 'Pelleas and Mellisande,' arranged for cello by Faure; himself. The most substantial offerings are Sonatas Op. 109 and Op. 117, late works of elusive emotions, flowing melodic lines, and underlying tensions. Peter Bruns plays a gut-strung cello, accompanied by Roglit Ishay on an Erard piano of the type Faure himself favored. Together they use their period instruments to exquisite ends, achieving the balance of reticence and passion that defines Faure's world.