Fauré: Requiem

Saturday, February 23, 2019 - 7:30pm
Sunday, February 24, 2019 - 2:00pm
First United Methodist Church
1005 Stover Street
Fort Collins, CO 80524
Rustic Cairn for Faure Requiem

The Saturday concert will be at First United Methodist Church in Fort Collins.
The Sunday concert will be at Seventh-day Adventist Church in Campion.

Written between 1887 and 1890, Gabriel Fauré's Requiem is among the best-loved pieces in the chorale repertoire. For these concerts, we will perform the piece in its original version, composed for low strings, organ, brass, and solo violin. The richness of this instrumentation is stunning, and it lends extra warmth to this most comforting of requiems. Fauré's talent as a composer of art song is quite evident in the long, mellifluous lines. As a result, his Requiem remains a favorite for choral singers the world over, and is equally popular among audiences both young and old.

The address of the Seventh-day Adventist Church is 300 42nd St SW, Loveland, CO. Both these beautiful churches have wonderful acoustics. We look forward to singing there!

Performance Notes

Gabriel Fauré was a French organist, pianist and teacher and one of the foremost composers of his generation. His musical style influenced many twentieth century composers, French and otherwise. Among his best-known works are his Nocturnes for piano, the songs “Après un rêve” and “Clair de lune”, and his Requiem. Born into a cultured but not unusually musical family, Fauré revealed his talent when he was a small boy. He was sent to a music college in Paris, where he was trained to be a church organist and choirmaster. Among his teachers was Camille Saint-Saëns, who became a life- long friend.

In his early years, Fauré earned a modest living as an organist and teacher, leaving him little time for composition. When he became successful, holding the important posts of organist of the Église de la Madeleine and head of the Paris Conservatoire, he still lacked time for composing, retreating to the countryside in the summer holidays to concentrate on composition. By his last years, he was recognized in France as the leading French composer of his day. It took many decades more for him to become accepted internationally. His music has been described as linking the end of the Romantic era with the modernism of the second quarter of the twentieth century.

It took roughly twenty years for Fauré’s Requiem to realize publication. He began in 1887 with sketches for part of the Introit and the baritone solo in the Hostias. By the end of January 1888 five movements were completed: Introit and Kyrie, Sanctus, Pie Jesu, Agnus Dei, and In Paradisum. The orchestration of this first version consisted of a solo violin, divided violas and cellos, basses, harp, timpani, and organ; Fauré conducted a performance of what he called his “petit Requiem” in January 1888 for a funeral at the Madeleine. He added one trumpet and one horn for a performance he conducted in May of that year, again at the Madeleine; somewhat later two each of trumpets and horns as well as bassoons appeared in the manuscript. By 1890 he had added the Offertory and Libera me, essentially completing the Requiem; the work with this orchestration was premiered in 1893 at the Madeleine with Fauré conducting.

For our performance we will use the original orchestration with solo violin (featuring Stacy Lesartre), low strings, harp, timpani and organ and the addition of horns and trumpets. The Fauré Requiem conveys a depth of spirit and conviction alongside French elegance and refinement. It is one of the most beloved masterworks in the choral repertory.

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