Friday, November 21, 2008

Gabriel Fauré

November 21, 2008

Today's Friday Flashback is brought to you by the hippie-loving, rip-roaring 1960s. Why you ask? Because they were into French Composers? Because they liked rolling in the mud for days at outdoor concerts? Nope.

It's because they coined the term "Faur-Out".

You see, those bell-bottomed, high-as-a-kite hessians would have trouble pronouncing the French correctly. So instead of pronouncing Fauré with is proper phonetics of For-eh, they'd say Far-eh.

The rabidrunner, having been raised by hippies, pronounces it Far-eh. The Sister however, is musically trained in Opera Performance at an Ivy League Something-or-Other. She pronounces it correctly. She also speaks German so naturally she'd pronounce French words with precision... although she has been known to throw in some ancillary "nits", "alphs" and " zolanders".

What exactly am I trying to say? I'm saying that the language expert in me (har har) declares that the term "Faur-Out" was inspired by the Fauré in Gabriel Fauré. Only to save typewriter ink they dropped the "u".

Would you look at that? I've filled up a whole page and I haven't even begun to speak of anything noteworthy! (Too bad I didn't have that talent in high school...)


Gabriel Fauré was born May 12, 1845 and died November 4, 1924. He was an organist mainly who studied diligently throughout his early childhood. His influences and teachers include various French Composers of Greatness: Charles-Camille Saint-Saëns, Franz Liszt and Robert Shumann (to name drop a few).

In his early career, Fauré was employed as an assistant organist for various churches and congregations. The duties required kept him busy enough that Fauré would only have his summers to compose music. He sold each work, including the copyright, for only 50 francs. He was not making money.

In 1892, Fauré's financial luck would change. He made a trip through Venice, found some hook-ups (musical that is... not the other kind) and composed more music. When Fauré returned to Paris, he was made the chief organist at Église de la Madeleine and the composition instructor at the Conservatoire de Paris. This is where he taught Maurice Ravel everything he knew.

In the early 1900's, Fauré developed hearing trouble. The composing and whatnot would suffer. He did marry and produce two sons. (which might produce some Faur-Out Faurés - maybe you're related?!) He died at the age of 79 from complications brought on by pneumonia.

Gabriel Fauré's approach to harmony and melody would shape the music of the 20th century. Fauré's Requiem is among the favoritest of the rabidrunner Requiem Collection. What?! You say you don't have a Requiem Collection? Everyone should have a Requiem Collection.

From the Requiem:
Sanctus
Pie Jesu
Agnus Dei
In Paradisum

Others:
Pavane
Elegy
Après un rêve

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