Gabriel Faure : Dolly Suite Op 56
1. Introït et Kyrie (D minor) 0:00
2. Offertoire (B minor) 6:24
3. Sanctus (E-flat major) 14:36
4. Pie Jesu (B-flat major) 18:07
5. Agnus Dei et Lux Aeterna (F major) 21:48
6. Libera Me (D minor) 27:55
7. In Paradisum (D major) 32:16
1. Prelude – 00.10
2. Entr’acte: La Fileuse – 06.20
3. Sicilienne de Pelleas et Melisande – 09.20
4. La mort de Melisande – 13.10
Sinfonietta Sofia Orchestra, conductor Christo Pavlov
New Concert Hall, 01 Oct 2011
Pelléas et Mélisande, Op. 80 is a suite derived from incidental music by Gabriel Fauré for Maurice Maeterlinck‘s play of the same name. He was the first of four leading composers to write music inspired by Maeterlinck’s drama. Debussy, Schoenberg and Sibelius followed in the first decade of the 20th century.
Fauré’s music was written for the London production of Maeterlinck’s play in 1898. To meet the tight deadline of the production, Fauré reused some earlier music from incomplete works and enlisted the help of his pupil Charles Koechlin, who orchestrated the music. Fauré later constructed a four-movement suite from the original theatre music, orchestrating the concert version himself.
The score was commissioned in 1898 by Mrs Patrick Campbell for the play’s first production in English, in which she starred with Johnston Forbes-Robertson and John Martin-Harvey.[n 1] Mrs Campbell had invited Debussy to compose the music, but he was busy working on his operatic version of Maeterlinck’s play, and declined the invitation. Debussy in his letter said: “j’aimerai toujours mieux une chose où, en quelque sorte, l’action sera sacrifiée à l’expression longuement poursuivie des sentiments de l’âme. Il me semble que là, la musique peut se faire plus humaine, plus vécue, que l’on peut creuser et raffiner les moyens d’expression” (“I will always prefer a thing in which, in a way, the action is sacrificed for the expression sought after by the soul. It seems to me that in that case, the music is more human, more lived, that we can refine our means of expression”).
Fauré was in London in March and April 1898, and was introduced to Mrs Campbell by the musical benefactor Frank Schuster. Fauré accepted her invitation to compose the music for the production, despite the tight deadline – the play was to open in June of that year. He wrote to his wife, “I will have to grind away hard for Mélisande when I get back. I hardly have a month and a half to write all that music. True, some of it is already in my thick head!” It was Mrs Campbell who commissioned Fauré to write the incidental music to the play. She “felt sure M. Gabriel Fauré was the composer needed.”
As he often did, Fauré reused music written for incomplete or unsuccessful works. A sicilienne from his unfinished 1893 score for Le Bourgeois gentilhomme was the most substantial piece retrieved for Pelléas et Mélisande. Pressed for time, and never greatly interested in orchestrating, Fauré enlisted the help of his pupil Charles Koechlin, who accompanied him to London. The complete incidental music comprised 19 pieces (2 are missing) of varying length and importance.
Fauré conducted the orchestra for the premiere, at the Prince of Wales’s Theatre on 21 June 1898. Mrs Campbell was enchanted by his music, in which, she wrote, “he had grasped with most tender inspiration the poetic purity that pervades and envelops M. Maeterlinck’s lovely play”. She asked him to compose further theatre music for her in the first decade of the 20th century, but to his regret his workload as director of the Paris Conservatoire made it impossible. Over the next 14 years, she revived the play, always using Fauré’s score. In 1904, the music was used for a production of the original French version of the play, starring Sarah Bernhardt. Fauré’s incidental music was used again in Georgette Leblanc‘s production of the play in the cloisters and gardens of Saint-Wandrille abbey in August 1910, conducted by Albert Wolff.
There are two different versions of the original theatre score for Pelléas et Mélisande in existence. The first is Koechlin’s autograph of the orchestral score, dating from May and June 1898, and incorporating several rough sketches by Fauré in short score. The second is the conducting score used by Fauré in London; this is also a manuscript in Koechlin’s handwriting.
Fauré later reused the music for Mélisande’s song in his song cycle La chanson d’Ève, adapting it to fit words by the Symbolist poet Charles van Lerberghe. The Sicilienne became very popular as an independent piece, with arrangements for flute and piano (by Henri Büsser among others), for cello and piano, as well as other instruments. Extracts from Pelléas et Mélisande were used by George Balanchine as the score for the Emeralds section of his 1967 ballet Jewels.
Gabriel Urbain Fauré was a French composer, organist, pianist and teacher. He was one of the foremost French composers of his generation, and his musical style influenced many 20th century composers. Among his best-known works are his Nocturnes for piano, the songs “Après un rêve” and “Clair de lune” and his Requiem.
Cantique de Jean Racine (Op. 11) is a work for mixed chorus and piano or organ by Gabriel Fauré. Written by the nineteen year old composer in 1864-5, the piece won Fauré the first prize when he graduated from the École Niedermeyer and was first performed the following year on August 4, 1866, with accompaniment of strings and organ. It was first published around 1875 or 1876 (Schoen, Paris, as part of the series Echo des Maîtrises) and appeared in a version for orchestra (possibly by the composer) in 1906. The accompaniment has also been arranged for strings and harp by John Rutter.
Jean Racine, baptismal name Jean-Baptiste Racine was a French dramatist, one of the “Big Three” of 17th century France (along with Molière and Corneille), and one of the most important literary figures in the Western tradition. Racine was primarily a tragedian, producing such ‘examples of neoclassical perfection’ as Phèdre, Andromaque, and Athalie, although he did write one comedy, Les Plaideurs, and a muted tragedy, Esther, for the young.
Verbe égal au Très-Haut, notre unique espérance,
Jour éternel de la terre et des cieux;
De la paisible nuit nous rompons le silence,
Divin Sauveur, jette sur nous les yeux!
Répands sur nous le feu de ta grâce puissante,
Que tout l’enfer fuie au son de ta voix;
Dissipe le sommeil d’une âme languissante,
Qui la conduit à l’oubli de tes lois!
O Christ, sois favorable à ce peuple fidèle
Pour te bénir maintenant rassemblé.
Reçois les chants qu’il offre à ta gloire immortelle,
Et de tes dons qu’il retourne comblé!
Verb equal to God, the Almighty, our only hope,
Eternal day of the earth and heavens;
We break the silence of the peaceful night,
Divine Saviour, look upon us!
Fan the fire of your powerful grace upon us,
So that all Hell may flee at the sound of your voice;
Shake off the sleep of a languishing soul,
Who has forgotten your laws!
O Christ, be kind to these faithful people
Who have now gathered in thanks.
Listen to the chants they offer to your immortal glory,
And may they come away fulfilled with your gifts!
Cuvântul Celui de Sus, singura noastră speranţă,
Ziua veşnică a pământului şi a cerurilor;
Rupem tăcerea acestei nopţi liniştite,
Mântuitor divin, întoarce-Ţi privirea către noi!
Revarsă-Ţi asupra noastră focul slavei tale atotputernice
Astfel ca iadul întreg să fugă la auzul vocii tale;
Alungă somnul unui suflet ostenit,
Care l-a dus la uitarea legilor tale!
O, Hristoase, fii milostiv cu acest popor credincios
Ce acum s-a adunat pentru a te preamări.
Ascultă cântecele pe care ţi le închină pentru slava ta veşnică
Şi fie ca ele să fie întoarse prin harul tău!
Poème, Op. 25, is a work for violin and orchestra written by Ernest Chausson in 1896. It is a staple of the violinist’s repertoire, has very often been recorded and performed, and is generally considered Chausson’s best-known and most-loved composition.
Poème was written in response to a request from Eugène Ysaÿe for a violin concerto. Chausson felt unequal to the task of a concerto, writing to Ysaÿe: I hardly know where to begin with a concerto, which is a huge undertaking, the devil’s own task. But I can cope with a shorter work. It will be in very free form with several passages in which the violin plays alone.
He wrote three different versions of Poème: with orchestra; with piano accompaniment (later rewritten by other hands); and a recently discovered version for violin, string quartet and piano, a companion to his Concert in D for piano, violin and string quartet, Op. 21 (1892). The solo violin parts of these versions are identical except for one minor detail.
The work is notionally in the key of E-flat, and lasts about 16 minutes. It was dedicated to Ysaÿe, who gave its early performances.
Chausson initially called it Le Chant de l’amour triomphant, then changed it to Poème symphonique, and finally to simply Poème. The first two rejected titles are crossed out on the extant manuscripts.
The original title came from the 1881 romantic novella The Song of Love Triumphant (Le Chant de l’amour triomphant; Песнь торжествующей любви) by the Russian writer Ivan Turgenev, who lived on the estate of the famed mezzo-soprano Pauline Viardot and her husband near Paris; all three were acquaintances of Chausson’s. The Viardots’ daughter Marianne was engaged for some time to Gabriel Fauré, but broke it off and instead married Alphonse Duvernoy. Turgenev’s novella seems to mirror this set of relationships, and it may be that Chausson initially attempted to portray it in music. However, it is clear his final intention was to create a work without extra-musical associations.
In the autumn of 1896, Eugène Ysaÿe, Ernest Chausson and their wives were holidaying at Sitges on the Mediterranean coast of Spain. At a party hosted by the Catalan painter Santiago Rusiñol, Ysaÿe and Chausson’s wife on piano gave an impromptu sight-read performance of Poème; local townspeople who overheard it demanded it be encored three times. Present at the party were Enrique Granados and possibly Isaac Albéniz.
Poème’s formal premiere was at the Nancy Conservatoire on 27 December 1896, conducted by Guy Ropartz, with Ysaÿe as soloist. But it was not really noticed until Ysaÿe gave the Paris premiere, at a Colonne Concert on 4 April 1897. Chausson was overcome by the sustained applause, something he had not experienced in his career to that point.
In this performance recorded April 1, 1969, twenty-four year-old Jacqueline du Pré (1945-1987), accompanied by Gerald Moore, performs the Élégie in C minor, Op. 24 (1880) by Gabriel Fauré , Op. 24, by Gabriel Faure. I created this music video from the LP, “A Jacqueline du Pré Recital,” issued on the Angel label, serial number S-37900. All images are taken from the LP and LP jacket.
More great cello performances:
JS Bach / Jacqueline du Pré, 1962: Adagio, from the Toccata in C, BWV 564 – Angel – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MQqukn…
Samuel Barber / Raya Garbousova: Concerto for Cello and Orchestra, Op. 22 – Decca, 1966 – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1OR_ID…
Brahms / Isaac Stern / Leonard Rose, 1956: Double Concerto in A minor, Op. 102 (Allegro): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9vREWf…
Gabriel Fauré – Élégie pour violoncelle et piano
– Germaine Thyssens Valentin & Robert Salles
The Élégie (Elegy), Op. 24, was written by the French composer Gabriel Fauré in 1880, and first published and performed in public in 1883. Originally for cello and piano, the piece was later orchestrated by Fauré. The work, in C minor, features a sad and sombre opening and climaxes with an intense, fast-paced central section, before the return of the elegiac opening theme.
In 1880, having completed his First Piano Quartet, Fauré began work on a cello sonata. It was his frequent practice to compose the slow movement of a work first, and he did so for the new sonata. The completed movement was probably premiered at the salon of Camille Saint-Saëns in June 1880. The movement, like the quartet, is in the key of C minor. Whether the rest of the sonata would have been in that key is unknown: Fauré never completed it, and in January 1883 the slow movement was published as a stand-alone piece under the title Élégie.
The first performance of the work under its new title was given at the Société Nationale de Musique in December 1883 by the composer and the cellist Jules Loeb to whom the piece is dedicated.[n 1] The Élégie was a great success from the outset, and the conductor Édouard Colonne asked Fauré for a version for cello and orchestra. Fauré agreed, and that version was premiered at the Société Nationale in April 1901, with Pablo Casals as soloist and the composer as conductor.[2
Published on Jan 21, 2013
Gabriel Fauré – Piano Quartet No. 1 in C minor, Op. 15
Antoine Tamestit, viola / Trio Wanderer:
Raphaël Pidoux, violoncello
Vincent Coq, piano
Jean-Marc Phillips-Varjabédian, violin
1. Allegro molto moderato
2. Scherzo. Allegro vivo
4. Finale. Allegro molto
Gabriel Fauré’s Piano Quartet No. 1, in C minor, Op. 15 is one of two chamber works written by him for the conventional piano quartet combination of piano, violin, viola and cello. Despite being in a minor key it is predominantly positive in tone, though with some hints in the slow movement of the emotional turmoil of Fauré’s life at the time of the composition.
In 1877, after wooing her for five years, Fauré had finally become engaged to Marieanne Viardot, daughter of the well-known singer Pauline Viardot. The engagement lasted for less than four months, and Marieanne broke it off, to Fauré’s considerable distress. It was in the later stages of their relationship that he began work on the quartet, in the summer of 1876. He completed it in 1879, and revised it in 1883, completely rewriting the finale. The first performance of the original version was given on 14 February 1880. In a study dated 2008, Kathryn Koscho notes that the original finale has not survived, and is believed to have been destroyed by Fauré in his last day
Fauré – Violin Sonata No. 1 Op. 13 – Allegro quasi presto – Live at Wigmore Hall
Some of France‘s best living musicians performed in two concerts solely works by Gabriel Fauré at London’s Wigmore Hall, formerly Bechstein Hall. Renaud Capuçon (violin) and Michel Dalberto (piano) played the Violin Sonata No. 1 Op. 13 on May 2, 2013. It was an extraordinary interpretation, so that we are proud to have the possibility to publish the “Allegro quasi presto” of this performance.
Michel Dalberto performed on a C. Bechstein grand piano D 282, that was serviced by the famous piano technician Denijs de Winter. By the way all musicians (and the C. Bechstein grand piano) had also been involved in the recording of Fauré’s complete chamber music, a set of CDs on the Virgin label that has won several prizes.
Filming: Alexander Rupprecht; Editing: Simon Stalker
For more information about the project, the musicians and the Wigmore Hall please follow the links:
Saint-Saëns was a romantic French composer. The music of video is the second movement of the Opus 18, played for Florestan Trio and was written in 1863.