Famous for his setting of the Requiem, Gabriel Fauré (1845-1924) trained as a church musician and composed a significant quantity of sacred music before turning his attention to other genres. His orchestral music includes the suite Pelléas et Mélisande (which predates Debussy’s opera of the same name by a number of years) and the Fantasie for piano and orchestra. Among his best known works are two miniatures: the Pavane, which began life as a piano piece but is equally well known in other arrangements, and Sicilienne, originally for cello or violin and piano and, like the Pavane, well known in other arrangements. His chamber music includes cello sonatas, piano quartets and quintets, and a single string quartet. He also wrote a significant quantity of songs and solo piano music. Among his works for the stage is the opera Pénélope, which was premièred in Monte Carlo in 1913 and is dedicated to his former teacher Saint-Saëns. Fauré was director of the Paris Conservatoire from 1905 until 1920.
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