Gabriel Fauré


Born: 1845   Died: 1924   Country: France   Period: Romantic
When Gabriel Fauré was a boy, Berlioz had just written La damnation de Faust and Henry David Thoreau was writing Walden. By the time of his death, Stravinsky had written The Rite of Spring and World War I had ended in the devastation of Europe. In this dramatic period in history, Fauré strove to bring together the best of traditional and progressive music and, in the process, created some of the most exquisite works in the French repertoire. He Read more was one of the most advanced figures in French musical circles and influenced a generation of composers world-wide.

Fauré was the youngest child of a school headmaster and spent many hours playing the harmonium in the chapel next to his father's school. Fauré's father enrolled the 9-year-old as a boarder at the École Niedermeyer in Paris, where he remained for 11 years, learning church music, organ, piano, harmony, counterpoint, and literature. In 1861, Saint-Saëns joined the school and introduced Fauré and other students to the works of more contemporary composers such as Schumann, Liszt, and Wagner. Fauré's earliest songs and piano pieces date from this period, just before his graduation in 1865, which he achieved with awards in almost every subject. For the next several years, he took on various organist positions, served for a time in the Imperial Guard, and taught. In 1871 he and his friends -- d'Indy, Lalo, Duparc, and Chabrier -- formed the Société Nationale de Musique, and soon after, Saint-Saëns introduced him to the salon of Pauline Viardot and Parisian musical high society. Fauré wrote his first important chamber works (the Violin Sonata No. 1 and Piano Quartet No. 1), then set out on a series of musical expeditions to meet Liszt and Wagner. Throughout the 1880s, he held various positions and continued to write songs and piano pieces, but felt unsure enough of his compositional talents to attempt anything much larger than incidental music. Fauré's pieces began to show a complexity of musical line and harmony which were to become the hallmarks of his music. He began to develop a highly original approach to tonality, in which modal harmony and altered scales figured largely. The next decade, however, is when Fauré came into his own. He was named composition professor at the Paris Conservatoire in 1896. His music, although considered too advanced by most, gained recognition amongst his musical friends. This was his first truly productive phase, seeing the completion of his Requiem, the Cinq Mélodies, and the Dolly Suite, among other works. Using an economy of expression and boldness of harmony, he built the musical bridge over which his students -- such as Maurice Ravel and Nadia Boulanger -- would cross on their journey into the twentieth century. In 1905, he was named director of the conservatory and made several significant reforms. Ironically, this position gave his works more exposure, but it reduced his time for composition and came when he was increasingly bothered by hearing problems. Fauré's works of this period show the last, most sophisticated stages of his writing, streamlined and elegant in form. During World War I, Fauré essentially remained in Paris and had another extremely productive phase, producing, among other things, Le Jardin clos and the Fantaisie for piano and orchestra, Op. 111, which show a force and violence that make them among the most powerful pieces in French music. In 1920 he retired from the school, and the following year gave up his music critic position with Le Figaro, which he had held since 1903. Between then and his death in 1924, he would produce his great, last works: several chamber works and the song cycle L'horizon chimérique. Read less

Work: Requiem, Op. 48

Browse 51-59 of 59 Available Recordings
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  • 51.
    In Paradisum - Fauré, Duruflé / Chung, Bartoli, Terfel
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 459365 Release Date: 05/11/1999   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Maurice Duruflé,  Gabriel Fauré
    Performer:  Cecilia Bartoli,  Bryn Terfel,  Daniele Rossi
    Conductor:  Myung-Whun Chung
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Santa Cecilia Academy Rome Chorus,  Santa Cecilia Academy Rome Orchestra
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  • 52.
    Faure, Durufle: Requiem, Etc / Guest, St John's College
    Label: London/Decca Double Decker   Catalog: 436486 Release Date: 06/13/1995   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Francis Poulenc,  Maurice Duruflé,  Gabriel Fauré
    Performer:  Stephen Cleobury,  Christopher Keyte,  Robert King,  Jonathon Bond  ... 
    Conductor:  George Guest
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cambridge St. John's College Choir,  Academy of St. Martin in the Fields
    CD: $19.99
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  • 53.
    Fauré: Requiem, Etc / Summerly, Beckley, Gedge, Et Al
    Label: Naxos   Catalog: 8550765 Release Date: 11/29/1994   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Gabriel Fauré,  Déodat de Sévérac,  Louis Vierne
    Performer:  Colm Carey,  Nicholas Gedge,  Lisa Beckley
    Conductor:  Jeremy Summerly
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Schola Cantorum Oxford,  Oxford Camerata
    CD: $9.99
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  • 54.
    Howells: Requiem;  Faure: Requiem / Frederick Burgomaster
    Label: Gothic Records   Catalog: 49062 Release Date: 07/24/1994   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Gabriel Fauré,  Herbert Howells
    Performer:  William Ferguson-Wagstaffe,  Stanley [Bass Baritone] Irwin,  Joshua Barton,  Paul Flight  ... 
    Conductor:  Frederick Burgomaster
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Indianapolis Festival Orchestra,  Christ Church Cathedral Choir Men and Boys
    CD: $17.99
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  • 55.
    Faure: Requiem, Cantique De Racine, Etc / Matthew Best
    Label: Hyperion   Catalog: 66292 Release Date: 03/23/1993   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Gabriel Fauré
    Performer:  John Scott,  Isabelle Poulenard,  Michael George,  Mary Seers
    Conductor:  Matthew Best
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  English Chamber Orchestra,  Corydon Singers
    CD: $18.99
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  • 56.
    Fauré: Cantique, Requiem / Plasson, Hendricks
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 47317 Release Date: 01/12/1993   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Gabriel Fauré
    Performer:  José Van Dam,  Barbara Hendricks,  Arlette Amyel
    Conductor:  Michel Plasson
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Toulouse Capitole Orchestra,  Orféon Donostiarra
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  • 57.
    Fauré: Requiem, Pelléas Et Mélisande / Jordan, Usbeck, Fuchs
    Label: Erato   Catalog: 45813 Release Date: 11/03/1992   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Gabriel Fauré
    Performer:  Robert Thuillier,  Gilles Cachemaille,  Mathias Usbeck,  Daniel Fuchs
    Conductor:  Armin Jordan
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Suisse Romande Orchestra,  Lausanne Pro Arte Chorus,  Suisse Romande Chamber Choir
    ArkivCD $16.99
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  • 58.
    Fauré: Requiem, Elegie, Messe Basse / Michel Corboz, Et Al
    Label: Erato   Catalog: 45116 Release Date: 02/11/1992   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Gabriel Fauré
    Performer:  Frédéric Lodéon,  Philippe Corboz,  Philippe Huttenlocher,  Alain Clément  ... 
    Conductor:  Armin Jordan,  Michel Corboz,  Jean Sourisse
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Monte Carlo Philharmonic Orchestra,  St. Pierre aux Liens de Bulle Choir,  Berne Symphony Orchestra  ... 
    ArkivCD $16.99
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  • 59.
    Durufle, Fauré: Requiem / Shaw, Blegen, Morris, Atlanta So
    Label: Telarc   Catalog: 80135 Release Date: 10/25/1990   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Gabriel Fauré,  Maurice Duruflé
    Performer:  Judith Blegen,  James Morris
    Conductor:  Robert Shaw
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Atlanta Symphony Orchestra,  Atlanta Symphony Chorus
    CD: $16.99
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