Faure in a Day
Saturday, 8 July (2pm rehearsal, 7.30pm concert)
John's Cathedral, Brisbane City
If you're a fan of choral music, what could be better than a concert that launches a brand new Youth Choir AND a massed choir singing the Faure Requiem? Why, getting to be part of that massed choir of course!
As part of QueenslandinSpires, RSCM is launching it's own Inspires Youth Choir for singers aged 18-28. The 7pm concert will be this choir's very first performance, and it is sure to be very special indeed.
After interval, the Inspires Youth Choir is joined by the massed choir to sing Faure's Requiem, one of the true gems of the sacred choral repertoire.
Faure in a Day will be conducted by QueenslandinSpires Festival Director Tansy Castledine. Tansy is Director of Music at Peterborough Cathedral in the UK, and Tansy is coming out to Australia for the first time as part of QueenslandinSpires. You can find out more about Tansy on our Directors page.
Note: please download the score using the button on the right and either print it, or put it on your tablet for use on the day.
2.00pm: Rehearsal at St John's Cathedral
Break for afternoon tea (BYO)
5.30pm Rehearsal concludes (dinner can be purchased from nearby outlets)
Recording with choral parts:
Faure in a Day Chorister Tickets:
$75 per person (includes two free tickets to the concert)
(Free with Festival Pass)
Concert Tickets:$30 Adult$25 Concession(Free with Festival Pass)
About the Work
Largely composed in the late 1880s, Faure's Requiem was not completed until 1900. Unusual gentle for a requiem mass, the work is often reminiscent of the composer’s best-known work, the restful and graceful Pavane of 1887. Fauré himself described his Requiem as “a lullaby of death.”
Resident in Paris from the age of nine, and occasional organist at some of the city’s most prestigious churches, including St. Sulpice and the Madeleine, Fauré composed a large number of sacred works for chorus and orchestra. Grandest of these is his Requiem. Postdating his countryman Berlioz’s by more than sixty years, it is, nonetheless, a more conservative work with none of the high drama that Berlioz had provided. Even Mozart’s Requiem in D Minor from 1791 has a larger quantity of fire and brimstone than Fauré’s, as the latter’s is almost entirely gentle in spirit. To achieve that mood, the Frenchman altered the text as he saw fit, omitting most of the usual Dies irae and including In Paradisum as a closing movement.
Its opening Introit et Kyrie is at first mysterious of mood, though with occasional startling changes of dynamics. No startling moments are to be found in the subsequent Offertoire, unless one is startled by rapturous beauty. Opening pages of the movement have the chorus in thoroughly peaceful mood, and even when the baritone solo joins for the Hostia portion, gentle reverence continues to be the focus.
The third movement Sanctus continues in this calm demeanor until the chorus reaches the phrase Hosanna in excelsis, for which, suitably, Fauré has chosen to use rich brass textures. The fourth movement Pie Jesu, dealing with a prayer to Christ for rest, is a suitably restful as one might wish, with solo soprano in mid-range accompanied mostly by organ. Strings and woodwinds have their place in transitions between verses, but stay quite out of the way of the singer.
Next comes the Agnus Dei (Lamb of God), treating the chorus in sweet fashion with occasional richer passages, but none in assertive vein. In the following Libera me, it is the baritone soloist who pleads for deliverance and the chorus quaking in fear; here one finds the boldest music in the entire work, in the Libera me, with strong brass statements and anxious vocal phrases. The movement closes with a restatement of the opening plea.
For the finale of his Requiem, Fauré opted for a most peaceable vision of paradise, with sopranos of the chorus—and, in place, the soprano soloist alone—set at first against a high, repeating, three-note pattern from the organ. Only later, on the word “Jerusalem,” do the male singers join in, and the closing lines of the movement bring Fauré’s Requiem to the most serene of conclusions. The composer himself once observed in a letter to a friend that he viewed death “as a happy deliverance, an aspiration to happiness above rather than as a painful experience.” The music he created is the very embodiment of that philosophy.
(Article from Britannica: https://www.britannica.com/topic/Requiem-in-D-Minor-Faure)