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One of the greatest of all French dramatists, lived 1639-1699, and the author of many masterpieces of poetic drama such as:

They are derived from Greek, Roman, Biblical, and contemporary sources (the recent Turkish ruler Bajazet or Bayezid). He is in some ways the French Shakespeare, except that he divided the honour, being one of three equally talented playwrights in France at that time: with his friend the comedian Molière and his rival the dramatist Pierre Corneille. He was also a great friend of the poets La Fontaine and Boileau.

The man to whom Fauré's inspired Cantique de Jean Racine is evidently dedicated, and by whom it might have been inspired. Composed by Fauré at the young age of 20, the text is taken from a collection of work by Racine entitled 'Hymns Translated from the Roman Breviary'. It is a classic and very recognisable piece, and is usually included on recordings of Fauré's Requiem.

It is written for a four part choir and organ, but an orchestra may be included as well. The music is tender, delicate and intimate in feel, and it is a popular 'utility' peice for choirs of an average or better standard, as it sounds beautiful whilst technically it is not overly demanding. It is easy to get hold of from many music publishers and always goes down in either a sacred or profane setting.It is very rewarding to perform, and this piece should be a favourite with any lover of Romantic choral music.

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