Gabriel Fauré: Madrigal
Camille Saint-Saens: "Deus Abraham" & "Ave Maria"
The Shedd Choral Society will perform Faure’s Madrigal, along with two choral works by his lifelong friend, the composer best known for “Carnival of the Animals,” Camille Saint-Saens’ “Deus Abraham” and “Ave Maria”.
Gabriel Fauré (born May 12, 1845, Pamiers, Ariège, France—died Nov. 4, 1924, Paris), was a composer whose refined and gentle music influenced modern Western composers.
Fauré’s musical abilities became apparent at an early age. Fauré studied piano with Camille Saint-Saëns, who introduced him to the music of Franz Liszt and Richard Wagner. In 1896 he was appointed professor of composition at the Paris Conservatory. In 1905 he succeeded Théodore Dubois as director of the conservatory, and he remained in office until ill health and deafness forced him to resign in 1920. Among his students were Maurice Ravel, Georges Enesco, and Nadia Boulanger.
Fauré excelled not only as a songwriter of great refinement and sensitivity but also as a composer in every branch of chamber music. He wrote more than 100 songs, enriching the literature of the piano with a number of highly original and exquisite works. One of the most striking features of his style was his fondness for daring harmonic progressions and sudden modulations, always elegant and deceptively simple.
Faure wrote his “Madrigal” in 1883, and dedicated it to his former roommate, about to get married. It’s the only work in which he borrowed a theme from another composer – none other than J.S. Bach. The opening line is derived from Bach’s cantata “Aus Tiefer Not” (From Deepest Need) and the piece (a dialogue between men and women about the love’s inconstancy) has the tone of a speech by the best man at a wedding.