French Composers: Facts About Gabriel Faure And Maurice Ravel

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 Gabriel Faure (1845 – 1924)

Gabriel Urbain Fauré was born in Pamiers, France, on 12th May 1845 and died on November 4, 1924 because of pneumonia.

Faure is one of the French composers who also contributed in the Music History.  He was a composer, teacher, pianist, and organist in the Romatnic era.

He started his musical studies at the age of nine at Ecole Niedermever music school in Paris where his mentor was the famous French composer Camille Saint-Saens.  They became friends and later founded  the Societé Nationale de Musique for  younger generation of  composers in France.

He became a professor of composition at  Paris Conservatoire.  Maurice Ravel, another great French  composer became his student and Nadia Boulanger, most influential teacher of musical composition on the 20th century.  He held a position of a director of the Conservatoire in 1905 – 1920.

He was the main organist at the Churches of Saint Sulpice (1871 – 1874) and  Madeleine (1896 – 1905).

His music influences are composers Chopin, Haydn, Mendelssohn, Schumann, Franz Liszt, and Richard Wagner.

His musical style exudes melodic sophistication and harmonic complexity.  He was regarded as the master of French songs and the Brahms of France.

His  major works:

Song, Après un reve (After a Dream), 1865

First violin sonata, 1876

Ballade, for piano and orchestra, 1881

Pavane, for orchestra, 1887

Song, Claire de lune (Moonlight), 1887

Orchestral Suite, Shylock, 1889

Orchestral Suite, Pelleas and Melisande, 1892

Song-cycle, La Bonne Chanson (The Good Song), 1893

Dolly suite, for piano duet, 1897

Opera, Pelleas et Melisande, 1898

Requiem Mass, 1900

Opera, Penelope, 1913

Song-cycle, Le Jardin clos (The Enclosed Garden), 1915

Orchestral Suite, Masques et Beramasques, 1919

Song-Cycle, L’Horizon chimerique (The Elusive Horizon)

Faure was married to Marie Fremiet in 1883 with whom he had two sons, but later his marriage failed.  There had been other women in his life which said to be the inspiration of his works.

Maurice Ravel  (1875 – 1937)

His full name is Joseph-Maurice Ravel.

Ravel was born on March 7, 1875 in  Ciboure, France and died on December 28, 1937,Paris.

Ravel was considered as one of the outstanding French composer and orchestrator.  He wrote for piano, voice, opera, ballet, chamber ensembles and orchestra.

At the age of 14, he completed his piano studies at Paris Conservatoire, there he became a student of  fellow French composer, Gabriel Faure.  

He considered himself as a classicist where music was  based in  tradional forms and structures while presenting his new harmonies.

Ravel completed writing his piano piece, Jeux d’eau, in 1901.

His best-known music includes Pavane pour une infante defunte – Pavane for a Dead Princess (1899), the String Quartet (1903), Sonatine for piano (1905), and his great ballet Daphnis et Chloe’ (1912) commissioned by impresario Sergey Diaghilev.

Other works :  opera L’Enfant et les sortileges (1925), the suite Le Tombeau de Couperin (1917), the orchestral works La Valse (1920), and Bolero (1928).

He became a professor and director at the American School of Music in Fountainebleau.

He died at the age of 62 after a brain ailment operation which he had been suffering for years.

Know more about other music composers:

Austrian Composers : Mozart, Haydn, and Schubert

Austrian Composers : Johann Strauss I and Johann Strauss II


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