Thirteen Nocturnes and as many Barcarolles form the core of the collected output of Gabriel Urbain Fauré (1845-1924) for the piano. Night-time meditations, then, along with inspiration drawn from rippling water (the origins of the barcarolle lie in the songs sung by Venetian gondoliers and the word itself comes from the Italian ‘barca’, a boat). Along with some impromptus, preludes and other works, one might rapidly gain the impression of a delightful collection of salon music, whose titles may actually display the influence of Chopin (Fauré was even to write a Mazurka). But this music is so very much more than pretty salon music. In the intimacy of these genres, Fauré succeeded time and again in nothing short of exposing his very soul. And the French composer’s style is entirely his own – original and personal – from the first note to the last.