Fauré, Gabriel Urbain

COMPOSER, ORGANIST, PIANIST (FRANCE)
BORN 12 May 1845, Permiers, Ariège - DIED 4 Nov 1924, Paris
GRAVE LOCATION Paris: Passy Cimetière, 2 Rue du Commandant Schloesing (division 15)

Gabriel Fauré showed musical talent from an early age. He attended Louis Niedermeyer's École de Musique Classique et Religieuse in Paris from the age of nine. After Niedermeyer's death in 1861 Camille Saint-Saëns taught him piano and made him familiar with music of Schumann, Liszt and Wagner. He and Saint-Saëns remained friends for the rest of their lives.

After he left school in 1866 he was engaged as organist in Rennes. During the war of 1870-1871 he lived in Switzerland for a while where André Messager was his pupil and became his friend. In 1871 he was a founding member of the Société Nationale de Musique and in the same year he became choirmaster at the Église Saint-Sulpice in Paris. In 1874 he went to work for the Église de la Madeleine, initially as deputy organist. In 1877 his first violin sonata was performed succesfully and in the same year he became engaged to Pauline Viardot's daughter Marianne after several years of courting her. But a few months later she broke off the engagement. Saint-Saëns distracted him from his grief by taking him to Weimar where he met Liszt.

In 1883 he married Marie Fremiet, the daughter of the sculptor Emmanuel Fremiet. Allthough they went along well the marriage was dificult because of his many absences and his affairs. In 1892 he was the lover of the singer Emma Bardac and a liaison with the composer Adela Maddison followed. In 1900 he met the pianist Marguerite Hasselmans and their affair lasted until his death.

In 1890 he suffered from a severe depression after a failed cooperation with Paul Verlaine. He was invited by Winnaretta de Scey-Montbéliard to recover at ther palazzo in Venice. There he wrote the first of his "Mélodies de Venise". In 1896 he succeeded Théodore Dubois as the chief organist at the Madelaine. He was also appointed professor of composition at the Conservatoire and among his students there were Maurice Ravel and Nadia Boulanger. In 1905 he succeeded Dubois as head of the Conservatoire.

In 1909 he was elected into the Institut de France, beating Charles-Marie Widor by a narrow margin. Every year he went to Germany to find time for his work as a composer. In 1914 he was almost stranded there when the First World War broke out but he managed to get into Switzerland and then return to France. In 1920 he resigned from the Conservatoire because of his deafness and age. He received the Grand-Croix of the Légion d'honneur in the same year. He died in 1924 in Paris.

Related persons
• was the lover of Bardac, Emma
• was teacher to Boulanger, Nadia
• was influenced by Franck, César
• met Liszt, Franz
• met Panthès, Marie
• was pupil to Saint-Saens, Charles Camille
• was painted by Sargent, John Singer
• visited Viardot-Garcia, Pauline

Sources
Encyclopedie van de Muziek, 1959
• Hellwig, Gerhard, Der Neue Opern-, Operetten- und Musical Führer, Aktualiseerte Neuauflage, Gomdrom, Bindlag, 1994
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gabriel_Faur%C3%A9

Images

The grave of Gabriel Fauré at Passy Cemetery, Paris.
Picture by Androom (06 Nov 2016)

 


Favre, Jules

Published: 19 Mar 2017
Last update: 19 Mar 2017