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Portrait with oils of Gabriel Fauré by John Singer Sargent, about 1889 (in the Paris Museum of Music)

Gabriel Urbain Fauré (May 12, 1845November 4, 1924) was a French composer.

Born in Pamiers, Ariège, Midi-Pyrénées, he studied at the Niedermeyer school of religious music in Paris with several of the greats including Camille Saint-Saëns. He eventually became organist at Église de la Madeleine.

A prolific composer, among the most noteworthy of his works are his Requiem, the opera Penelope, the orchestral suite Masques et Bergamasques (based on music for a dramatic entertainment, or divertissement comique), and music for Pelléas et Mélisande. He also wrote chamber music; his two piano quartets are particularly well known. Other chamber music includes two piano quintets, two cello sonatas, two violin sonatas, and a number of piano pieces. He is also known for his songs, such as Clair de lune, Après un rêve, Les roses d'Ispahan, En prière, and several song cycles, including La Bonne Chanson with settings of poems by Verlaine.

The Requiem, Op 48, was started after the death of his father, but before it was completed, his mother passed away as well. It was first performed in 1888. The Requiem thus is an expression of Faure's personal tragedy written after the death of his parents, though Fauré is thought not to have had strong religious beliefs. It has been described as "a lullaby of death". In setting the requiem he left out the Dies irae poem, though the reference to the day of judgment appears in libera me, which he added to the normal mass. Several slightly different versions of the Requiem exist, and these have given rise to a number of different recordings. The Requiem is also acknowledged as a source of inspiration for the similar setting by Maurice Duruflé.

His position as head of the Paris Conservatoire meant he was regarded as being among the foremost musical educators of his time; students of his include Maurice Ravel, Lili and Nadia Boulanger, and George Enescu.

Gabriel Fauré died in Paris from pneumonia. He was given a state funeral at Église de la Madeleine and is buried in the Cimetière de Passy, Paris, France.

See also

List of compositions by Gabriel Fauré

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