Easter concert with Fauré's Requiem
Gabriel Fauré, Maurice Ravel, and Francis Poulenc represent a golden age of French choral and orchestral music. In Fauré's Requiem and Poulenc's Gloria, seriousness and joy of life are united in warm and powerful messages. Kazuki Yamada conducts.
Maurice Ravel (1875–1937) wrote Pavane pour une infante défunte, "Pavane for a dead princess", for piano in 1899. He studied at the Paris Conservatoire with Gabriel Fauré as his teacher. Pavane was a dance form that had its heyday at the Spanish court in the 16th century. Fauré wrote a Pavane in 1887, becoming one of his most famous works. Ravel's piece is not mourning music - he imagined a Spanish princess in a slow processional dance at the Renaissance Spanish court. The piece became very popular, and Ravel orchestrated it in 1910.
Francis Poulenc (1899–1963) broke through as a composer in 1920s lively Paris with the witty, elegant, and erotically charged ballet Les biches. In 1936, his life and music took an abrupt turn when a close friend died in a traffic accident. Soon afterward, he travelled to the pilgrimage site of Rocamadour and, since then, wrote several works on religious themes. Poulenc wrote his Gloria for soprano, choir, and orchestra in 1959. His faith, the joy of life, and humor are expressed here. He said that one of the seeds of the work was when he saw a group of monks playing football.
Gabriel Fauré's (1845–1924) Requiem is the composer's best-known work and one of the world's most performed works for choir and orchestra. While several prominent death masses are characterized by strong contrasts and intense statements about doomsday, Fauré's music is characterized by calm, brighter moods and a positive image of "eternal rest." As an organist, Fauré had played at countless funerals and wanted to portray death in his own way. When asked why he wrote it, he replied: "For nothing ... for fun, if I may say so!"
What is played
- Maurice Ravel
- Francis Poulenc
- Gabriel Fauré