Gabriel Faure
( 1845 - 1924 )
in D Minor, Op. 48
I.   Introit  and  Kyrie
II.      Offertoire
III.     Sanctus
IV.     Pie Jesu
V.     Agnus Dei
VI.       Libera Me
VII.     In Paradisum
Instrumental Reduction from Full Score
for Organ Accompaniment prepared by
Ennis Fruhauf
(32 pages)


        Gabriel Faure was born in Pamiers, France in 1845, the youngest of six children. In 1854 he won a scholarship in Paris to study at l’Ecole Niedermeyer, newly established to train organists and choirmasters, where his early teachers included Niedermeyer, and subsequently Camille Saint-Saens for piano. In 1871 he became Widor’s assistant at St. Sulpice, and then starting in 1874  he served as substitute for Saint-Saens at La Madeleine, where he became choirmaster in 1877. He married in 1883 and fathered two children. Faure began work on the Requiem in 1887, and it received its first performance the following year. In 1896, he succeeded Massenet as professor of composition at the Paris Conservatoire, where his students included Ravel, Roger-Ducasse and Nadia Boulanger, among others, and that same year he was named organist at La Madeleine. Then in 1901 he joined the faculty of l’Ecole Niedermeyer, again as a composition teacher. The year 1905 saw his appointment as director of the Paris Conservatoire.

        Travels throughout his extensive and illustrious career took him to Germany, Switzerland, London, Venice and Russia, among other destinations, providing him with international influences and exposures. In 1920, deafness and increasing physical infirmities forced him to resign his post at the Conservatoire, although he continued to compose in spite of his growing ailments. He passed away in Paris in 1924.

        The Requiem appeared in three versions; the first one, dating from 1888, consisted of only five movements and was written for voices and a reduced string orchestra, with harp, tympani and organ. Then in 1889, he composed and added the Offertoire, while drawing the ‘Libera me’ from one of his earlier compositions; the latter addition occasioned the introduction of brass instruments to the orchestra, and this new version was first performed in 1893. Finally, in 1900 a third version was published, first with a piano accompaniment, and then in a full orchestral score, with the addition of woodwinds and an augmented string ensemble. The latter version, bearing traits and compromises that suggest intervention by one of his students, was premiered at the Palais du Trocadero.

        This transcription of the complete work is a reduction of the full score that blends the organ part and orchestral ensemble, harp included. While many compromises have been made in order to recapture the varied timbres and textures, the score is conservatively assembled and rendered in an idiomatic format that will facilitate performance by a solo organist. While not ideal for rehearsals, the clear and concentrated layout (with measure numbers and rehearsal letters) provides a score that eliminates the need for a page turner.