The greatest period of creativity among French composers coincides with the emergence of Impressionist art. Attempting to define that French “je ne sais quoi” is as elusive as describing a bottle of Château Petrus. But, as exemplified by the music of Fauré (Piano Quartet No. 1), Debussy (the prophetically daring cello Sonate), Saint-Saëns (Rondo Capriccioso) and Lili Boulanger (D’un matin de printemps), tension between elegance, restraint and intense fervor is a hallmark of the French aesthetic. There is passion, powerful emotion and a remarkable level of concentration. The mood is sensuous, pleasure-oriented, delicately colored and shimmering with élan.