By the time of his death in 1924, Gabriel Fauré was venerated as the grand old man of French music. Yet today, much of his output is neglected, and he plays ‘second fiddle’ to his better-known contemporaries, Debussy and Ravel. Donald Macleod explores Fauré’s songs and chamber music, and discovers some forgotten gems along the way.
We begin with Fauré meeting Liszt, inspiring Proust, and choosing a wife – by a rather unconventional method. Donald Macleod examines the work of the composer as he turns 40, discovers the poet Verlaine, overcomes depression and starts an affair.
Finally, Donald Macleod explores how Fauré responded to the large-scale tragedy of the 1st World War and the personal tragedy of his own worsening deafness.