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Gabriel Faure (20th Century Composers) Paperback – January 5, 2000


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Editorial Reviews

Review

'This is an inspired choice in this still early round of Phaidon's excellent, well-presented and illustrated 20th-Century Composers Series.' (Classical Music) 'Jessica Duchen's admirable biography will do much to advance the cause of Korngold.' (Jewish Chronicle) 'As a series, Phaidon's 20th Century Composers has brought remarkable variety and a welter of information, both necessary and delightfully trivial. Intended both for the general reader and for the more enthusiatically musical...' (The Scotsman)

From the Publisher

This is a comprehensive biography of the French composer Gabriel Faure for the general reader, placing his work in the context of his times. Gabriel Faure (1845-1924) is one of the best-loved French composers of his era: works such as his Requiem, "Pavane", "Dolly Suite, and "Cantique de Jean Racine" are perennial favourites. But Faure's importance runs far deeper. His music has a unique blend of vigour and restraint, sensuality and purity: an individual voice with a degree of integrity that helped him to resist the overwhelming forces - notably the music of Wagner - that held his Parisian contemporaries in thrall. His artistic independence served to inspire many of the next generation of French composers seeking to create a new Gallic identity beyond World War I. At the Paris Conservatoire, Faure's composition teaching was vital to such figures as Maurice Ravel, Nadia Boulanger and Charles Koechlin; when he ultimately became the Conservatoire's director, his reforms were the most radical the institution had yet experienced. Faure has often been thought of as a dreamy, somewhat unworldly individual; this book, however, reveals his ambition and decisiveness. Born in southern France and educated at the Ecole Niedermeyer rather than the powerful Paris Conservatoire, he struggled for years to achieve recognition from France's musical establishment, which often deemed him a dangerous outsider; in his personal life he struggled also against bouts of depression, an unsatisfactory marriage and, later, devastating deafness. Faure's life and works are explored in the context of the creative melting pot of fin-de-siecle Paris. His relationship with such figures as Saint-Saens, Liszt, Proust and Verlaine are considered in detail and help to create a portrait of this fascinating milieu. This biography, which charts Faure's long and difficult rise to fame, sets out to illuminate his individuality and reveal his enduring legacy to French music.
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Product Details

  • Series: 20th Century Composers
  • Paperback: 238 pages
  • Publisher: Phaidon Press (January 5, 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0714839329
  • ISBN-13: 978-0714839325
  • Product Dimensions: 6.2 x 0.9 x 8.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,011,315 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By J. Boksan on November 15, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This was a great source! I used this for a college presentation as one of my sources. This was a great book. I would recommend it for the singer and scholar to read.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Jared Ostermann on October 21, 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Generally good introduction to Faure - much less in-depth than I expected, but gets the basic biography. Falls prey to two common problems in a musical biography:

1 - Idolization of the subject (constant reference to Faure as being better than other mediocre French composers, more original, etc.). One wonders what the definitive biographers of those other composers would say, or why it is necessary to include so much value-judgment. Probably this is just the journalistic impulse - a desire to re-affirm why the subject of this book is important.

2 - "Purple prose" when discussing the music. Lots of colorful descriptions of Faure's music that are not particularly useful in understanding it. Piling on of adjectives that are simply personal impressions of the author.

Still, all in all a good quick intro to Faure.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This books is so much more than just a biography of a great, but not very well known composer. It is a mirror of the musical scene in France for the exciting period in the last 19th century and early 20th century. A web of many relationships - teacher/student, composer/composer, conservative music society/reformist - comes to light. I just love how the book has the right amount of pictures, old texts, photographs, and quotes from witnesses of that time. Written for the interested music lover, Jessica Duchen's non-technical book is a little gem that should be part of your library. And if you happen to play the piano, or even Faure's pieces, this book is a must-have as you will better understand the thinking of this master composer. The book is well-organized by time periods, and has a comprehensive classified list of works and discography. Overall, a marvelous book about a marvelous composer.
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By Glenn Vanstrum on August 23, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Another wonderful book from Phaidon. This work by Jessica Duchen is well researched, and is replete with multiple historical photographs. As a musician playing Faure, I feel after reading it I understand the man much better. He is a masterful composer with a fascinating life, and Duchen does it justice.
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By NANA on November 15, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The item did arrive in perfect condition. The good thing was it had unique details of composers life plus the pictures of important times of his life. It also explain most of the working of composer, a must have for a Faure fan. Thanks
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