P0463. GERMAINE THYSSENS-VALENTIN: Prélude, choral et fugue in b; Prélude, aria et finale in E (both Franck); 9 Préludes, Op.103 (Fauré). (England) Testament Mono / Stereo SBT 1400, recorded by Ducretet-Thomson. Final copy! - 749677140021
“I now have not the slightest doubt that Germaine Thyssens-Valentin was a great and inspired pianist; I've heard Fauré playing that approaches, or even occasionally equals hers, but none that surpasses it. Fauré's music has a confiding quality to it, as though it were a message intended for an audience of one, and Thyssens-Valentin is in perfect accord with this. Those messages…are often of great profundity, and she has both the heart and the technique to convey them. I have not often been so struck by Fauré's extraordinary courage in distilling emotions far too deep for words from the silent isolation of his old age. Why is Thyssens-Valentin not better known? I suppose that being a superlative interpreter of Fauré was not a reliable passport to international fame in the middle years of the 20th century.”
- Michael Oliver, GRAMOPHONE, Aug., 2002
["Thyssens-Valentin's] playing of Fauré is distinctive, fluid, understated and of a rare tonal and poetic delicacy and finesse … No other pianist, in my experience, has shown a comparable inwardness or capacity to penetrate to the very quick or essence of one of music's most misunderstood geniuses."
- Bryce Morrison, GRAMOPHONE Awards Issue 2002
"Thyssens-Valentin's direct, graceful, unpretentious performances can seem soothingly maternal and imperturbable, infused with a seemingly lost sense of inner poise and tranquility."
- Benjamin Ivry, CLASSIC RECORD COLLECTOR, Spring, 2007
"In the playing of [the above] superb artist, we encounter all the qualities that make for a profoundly rewarding experience: wonderful tone and dynamics, color, delicacy, nuance, exquisite technical polish, and a complete identification with an eloquent expression of Fauré's idiomatic style. Much of [Thyssens-Valentin's] playing is quiet, whispered intimately rather than spoken."
- David Mulbury, AMERICAN RECORD GUIDE, Nov./Dec., 2002
"... the obvious choices [for one's favorite recordings] are the ones from the nineteen-fifties by Germaine Thyssens-Valentin, for whom Fauré's voice was the vernacular and who plays these pieces with wisdom and grace."
- Richard Brody, THE NEW YORKER