, written in 1880 and premiered in Saint-Saëns’s house on 21 June, was envisaged as the slow movement of a sonata. Why it should then have waited three years for publication is unknown—perhaps it was just that it took Fauré that long to realize the sonata wouldn’t work. At any rate the Élégie
was an immediate success, not surprisingly since it embraces a wide area of emotion—pathos, delicacy, virtuosity, heroics, and a final page of beautifully judged détente.
from notes by Roger Nichols © 2012