Gabriel Fauré (1845-1924): French composer, who for nine years trained as an organist and a choirmaster, and was influenced to an extent by Saint-Saëns, he sought his own distinctive sound, and his most popular work is his beautiful Requiem - so beautiful is it, in fact, that it has been called the 'lullaby of death'. The lines to the Requiem are well written in that they seem to flow naturally when sung. The start of the Agnus Dei when played by solo violin as in the orchestral arrangment, (it was originally written for Choir and Organ) is instantly recognisable as a theme Classic FM has played to death, and the Libera Me is similarly well-known. Most famous, however, is the Pie Jesu soprano or treble solo, a standard component of soloist repertoire. Sublimely melodic, waxing meaninglessly lyrical over this is far too easy, just get out there and buy this . Even if you're daunted by the prospect of classical music because there's so much you don't know, I can guarantee that you'll love this. Fauré is accessible, but stands up to a lot of playing, too.

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