St Bride's: News - Fauré Requiem

St Bride's: News

Fauré Requiem

Fauré Requiem

Gabriel Fauré (12th May 1845 – 4th November 1924)

Gabriel Fauré's Requiem was first performed at the church of the Madeleine in Paris in 1888, and was composed for a liturgical performance in a very similar context to our Remembrance Sunday service on 10th November at 10:50am.

The orchestration, which is largely for violas, cellos and organ, with just one solo violin in the Sanctus and a pair of horns to support the loudest passages, also follows the composer's original intentions.

The intimacy of the scoring was a deliberate reaction against the massed forces of Berlioz's setting of the Requiem, which Fauré hated because of its emphasis on the horror of the sufferings of Purgatory - there is much more awareness here of giving comfort to those who mourn. Even the Libera me, set for baritone solo and choir, and originally composed as a separate piece ten years before the other movements, deals only fleetingly with the themes of judgement and the fear of death.

The music in general reflects Fauré's particular skills as a composer of songs and chamber music, with some memorable melodies, particularly for the tenors in the Kyrie and the Agnus Dei. The Pie Jesu for soprano solo (which we regularly perform as a standalone piece in memorials) has often been copied, but never surpassed.

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