French Piano Music
French piano music of the late 19th century and early modernity stylistically could not be more diversified. Ranging as the "father" of the french modern era, Chabrier, searching for new sounds was not afraid of dissonances and exotic rhythms. At least with his “Habanera” he leveradged Spanish trends in France.
Widely regarded as an organist of high stature Louis Vierne composed very virtuosic piano pieces with a strong chromatic idiom besides some enchanting and simple miniatures. The likewise highly virtuoso piano music of Fauré who as professor for composition was leading the Paris Conservatoire, is strongly characterized by its lyric melodies.
Three outstanding composers of a younger generation employ a distinctive musical language and newly structured piano writing: Claude Debussy with fluctuating sound spectrums crossing the frontiers of traditional harmony, Maurice Ravel, keeping tonality and playing with musical masks and the enfant terrible of the musical scene of Paris, Erik Satie, whose compositions change winkingly between the greatest possible reduction of musical material and the esprit of the Paris Cabarets.
The Barenreiter catalogue represents the great French masters with important works in up-to-date urtext editions. The repertoire is enlarged consequently.