29th and 30th April 2017 Requiem by Gabriel Faure

About the Performance

Gabriel Fauré (1845-1924), was one of the leading French composers of his time whose musical style influenced many musicians in the 20th century. Fauré began sketches for the Requiem in 1887. Unlike many composers, he was not drawn to compose a Requiem because of the death of a loved one. When asked about his motivation for writing it, Fauré responded:

“My Requiem was composed for nothing … for fun, if I may be permitted to say so!”

“It has been said that my Requiem does not express the fear of death and someone has called it a lullaby of death. But it is thus that I see death: as a happy deliverance, an aspiration towards happiness above, rather than as a painful experience. . . . . As to my Requiem, perhaps I have also instinctively sought to escape from what is thought right and proper, after all the years of accompanying burial services on the organ! I know it all by heart. I wanted to write something different.”

These are Faure’s thoughts on spirituality in the Requiem:

“Everything I managed to entertain in the way of religious illusion I put into my Requiem, which moreover is dominated from beginning to end by a very human feeling of faith in eternal rest.”

The work was performed at Fauré’s funeral in 1924.