Thursday, March 31, 2011


Gabriel Urbain Faure was born in Pamiers, a town in France, on May 12, 1845. He was the son of a provincial primary school inspector. At an early age, his father, who had noticed his musical talents, took him to Paris to study with Louis Niedermeyer. When Niedermeyer died in 1861, the young Faure commenced studies with Saint-Saens, who was able to instruct him in the art of composition. Upon completing his lessons in 1866, Faure traveled to Rennes, where he was hired as an organist at the church of Saint-Sauveur. In 1870, Faure returned to Paris. The Franco-Prussian war had just begun, and the musician volunteered for service in a light infantry division. In 1896, he was given a post as chief organist at Madeleine. He was also hired by the Paris Conservatory as a professor. He became a successful teacher, whose students included the famous composer Maurice Ravel. His achievements led the Conservatory to appoint him director in 1905. He held this position until 1920, when his failing health and approaching deafness forced his resignation. From 1903 to 1921, Faure further occupied himself by writing musical reviews in Le Figaro. Faure had an illustrius career. The Academie des Beaux Arts made him a member in 1909. He was also given the status of Commander of the Legion d'Honneur, in 1910. Faure's unique style gives his art an immortal stature. Unresolved dischords and coloristic effects make his music anticipatory of the coming Impressionistic period. He died in Paris on November 4, 1924.


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