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Composed in 1887, Fauré's graceful Pavane was originally a piano piece, based on a traditional Spanish court dance.
It’s another perfect example of Fauré refining his musical ideas into miniature form, with the result that the Pavane is done and dusted within six minutes. The work was written for orchestra, but the composer went on to pen an arrangement that included a choir, although only the original version remains in regular performance today. It’s thought that Fauré probably added the chorus at the request of countess Greffulhe, a wealthy patron of the arts in Paris.
The Pavane began life as a sixteenth-century court dance, and is thought most likely to have originated in Italy. Fauré’s take on the genre is a beautiful example, flowing gracefully and freely in a thoroughly enchanting way. Its success spurred the young composer on towards writing his Requiem, which he had virtually completed a year later.