Fauré Requiem: three facts you didn’t know

It is quite common that when we hear the word Requiem we associate it with Mozart’s masterpiece, although symphonic music offers us hundreds of extraordinary works such as Fauré Requiem.

Though Mozart’s Requiem has catapulted its fame thanks to its musical excellence, Mozart’s own death and the famous film Amadeus. Fauré’s Requiem is known for being a gift of liberation and a transition to happiness.

This piece will be released on Saturday 26th of November in the 3rd version of the Festival Corearte Colombia, in Manizales, under the direction of the Spanish maestro Josep Prats.

Dozens of singers will join to interpret Fauré`s masterpiece, if you are interested in being part of this great assembly Corearte Colombia will be such a special opportunity to live this unforgettable performance.

In this publication we tell you three generalities and facts that will interest you about Fauré’s Requiem.

1. Fauré Requiem: its composer

Gabriel Fauré was a French composer and pianist from the Niedermeyer School (Paris). He was a student of the virtuous pianist Camille Saint-Saëns, who became his friend and mentor.

After having been in the Franco-Prussian war and being a composer, organist and choral director of several churches in France, Fauré became the chapel master of the Madeleine church with Camille’s help. 

Within Fauré’s most famous compositions are the Requiem Op 48, the Pavane, his nocturnes for piano, the suites Masques et bergamasques, among others.

Several years later, he was appointed professor of composition at the Conservatoire National (Paris) and in 1905 he took over the direction of the Conservatoire. He was considered a revolutionary director who modified the curriculum by broadening the range of music taught there.

Today Gabriel Fauré is recognised as one of the most advanced composers of his generation whose pieces are a bridge between Romanticism and Modernism.

2. The masterpiece

Despite all his liturgical compositions, Fauré was not seen as a great religious devotee, but in the years around the death of his parents Fauré began to compose the Requiem in D minor.

The first version of the Requiem was written for soprano, baritone, choir and organ and premiered in 1888 in the Church of La Madeleine (Paris).

Later Fauré traveled to London where he met the musician Edward Elgar, who encouraged him to orchestrate the Requiem. By 1900 Fauré completed the orchestration of the Requiem, but he would still not get to hear its premiere.

In this way, Fauré ‘s Requiem was recognised as an innovative work as it did not follow the liturgical order. Fauré omitted the Dies Irae sequence, placed the Pie Jesus after the Sanctus and added the In Paradisum.

In addition, and contrary to Mozart’s Requiem, Fauré’s Requiem is seen as a cooing of death, leaving behind the fear and terror it evokes.

According to Fauré, death was ‘like a happy liberation, an aspiration to a higher happiness, rather than a painful experience’; he wanted to capture this in his work.

3. The final premiere of Fauré Requiem

After Fauré had finished the second version of the Requiem, his friend Edward Elgar wanted its premiere in London, but despite all his efforts it was not possible.

In 1924 Gabriel Fauré died, without having heard the premiere of the second version of his Requiem in England, but the first version was performed at his funeral.

Finally in 1937 the work was premiered in England by Nadia Boulanger, a pupil and great admirer of Gabriel Fauré.

Réquiem de Fauré tres datos que no sabías 2

This master piece will be performed by the Symphonic Orchestra of Caldas (conducted by Maestro Leonardo Marulanda), the Chamber Choir of the Music Department of the University of Caldas (conducted by Maestro Yenny Moreno) and singers from different countries under the direction of the Spanish Maestro Josep Prats in the framework of the International Festival Corearte Colombia 2022.