Gabriel Fauré

He trained at the Ecole Niedermeyer (1854-65) as organist and choirmaster, coming under the influence of Saint-Saens and his circle while working as a church musician (at Rennes, 1866-70; St. Sulpice, 1871-3; the Madeleine, from 1874) and giving lessons. Though he met Liszt and was fascinated by Wagner, he sought a distinctive style in his piano pieces and numerous songs, which had to be composed during summer holidays. Recognition came slowly owing to the modernity of his music. In 1892 he became national inspector of of the provincial conservatories, and in 1896 chief organist at the Madeleine and composition professor at the Conservatoire, where his pupils included Ravel, Koechlin, Roger-Ducasse, Enescu and Nadia Boulanger; from 1905 to 1920 he was the Conservatoire's resolute and influential director, becoming celebrated for the vocal and chamber masterpieces he produced until his death.

Faure's stylistic development can be traced from the sprightly or melancholy song settings of his youth to the bold, forceful late instrumental works, traits including a delicate combination of extended tonality and modality, rapid modulations to remote keys and continuously unfolding melody. Widely regarded as the greatest master of French song, he produced six important cycles (notably the novel op. 61) and three collections each of twenty pieces (1879, 1897, 1908). In chamber music he enriched all the genres he attempted, while his works for piano (chiefly nocturnes, barcarolles and impromptus) embody the full scope of his stylistic evolution. Among his few large-scale works, the popular and delicately written Requiem op. 48 and the "song opera" Penelope (1913) are noteworthy.

The Grove Concise Dictionary of Music.

Year / Artwork Title Importance Medium
1878-1879 Violin Concerto 4.00 stars CD
Comments:

Phillippr Graffin - Violin
Ulster Orchestra cond. Thierry Fischer

1883 Madrigal Opus 35 4.00 stars LP
Comments:

Gregg Smith Singers cond. Gregg Smith

1887 Pavane Opus 50 4.00 stars CD
Cover Comments:

Orpheus Chamber Orchestra

1887-1890 Messe de Requiem 4.0 stars LP
Messe de Requiem Comments:
The other day I was browsing my record cabinet, and found my copy of Faure's Requiem.

A nice recording with Suzanne Danco and Gérard Souzay.
I must say that the Requiem might by overrated.
It reminds me too much of the old kapelaan (chaplain), you could see riding on his bike while smoking a big cigar, in the old days in the village where I grew up.
Verdi suits me better. With that music I can imagine the Pontiff riding his Popemobil 200 km/hour over the red square. Or whatever the place is called.

This recording was originally released in 1955.

1891-1894 La Bonne Chanson 4.0 stars CD
Messe de Requiem Comments:
Anne Sofie von Otter - Mezzo Soprano
String Quartet
Bengt Forsberg - Piano
1910 Pelléas et Mélisande, Opus. 80: Sicilienne 4.50 stars CD
Cover Comments:

Orpheus Chamber Orchestra

1898 Fantaisie for Flute and Orchestra 4.0 stars LP
Fantaisie Comments:
James Galway - Flute
Royal Philharmonic Orchestra cond. Charles Dutoit
1898 Sicilienne for Flute and Orchestra Opus 78 4.50 stars CD
Cover Comments:

Same as above?

Susan Palma - Flute
Orpheus Chamber Orchestra

1919 Masques et bergamasques Suite Opus 112 4.50 stars CD
Cover Comments:

Orpheus Chamber Orchestra