Gabriel Fauré 1845–1924
Gabriel Fauré was born in Pamiers, in the South of France. His musical abilities became apparent at an early age and he was accepted as a pupil at the Niedermeyer School in Paris before studying the piano with Saint-Saëns, who introduced him to the music of Liszt and Wagner. In 1896 he was appointed organist at the church of La Madeleine in Paris and professor of composition at the Paris Conservatory, becoming director of the Conservatory from 1905 to 1920. Among his students were Maurice Ravel, George Enescu, Nadia Boulanger and Maurice Duruflé.
One of the most influential of French composers, Fauré linked the end of Romanticism with the beginnings of the modern era. These three pieces date from early in his composing career.
Après un rêve, Op. 7, No. 1 (1878)
Fauré composed more than 100 songs throughout his long career. Après un rêve, a dream of romantic flight with a lover, was arranged for cello and piano by the great cellist Pablo Casals in 1910. In a seamless flow of melodic invention, it becomes a glorious song without words.
Sicilienne, Op. 78 (1898)
Fauré originally composed his wistful Sicilienne in 1893 as an orchestral piece, for a production of a Molière play that had to be abandoned. The unperformed music was arranged as a work for cello and piano by the composer himself.
Élégie, Op. 24 (1883)
The Élégie was written in 1880, and first published and performed in public in 1883. It was intended to be the slow movement of a sonata for cello and piano which Fauré never completed. The work features a sad and sombre opening which leads to an intense, tempestuous central section before returning to the elegiac opening theme in C minor.Composer: Fauré Title of Musical Work: Three Pieces for Cello and Piano