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Gabriel Fauré

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Requiem in D minor, Op. 48

Fauré's Requiem in D minor, Op. 48 stands out as the composer's most well known large scale work. Due to the Requiem's date of of composition, 1887-1890, it was believed that perhaps Fauré was writing the piece to commemorate his parents, who passed away in 1885 and 1887. However, Fauré was quick to deny this fact, saying in a letter to a fellow composer that "My Requiem wasn't written for anything – for pleasure, if I may call it that!" Unlike the requiems of many composers, Fauré chose to set the Roman Catholic Mass for the Dead with music that is tranquil, serene, and gentle. His reasons for writing the music in this way is summed up best by the composer himself in an interview from 1902: “It has been said that my Requiem does not express the fear of death, and someone has called it a lullaby of death. But it is thus that I see death: a happy deliverance, an aspiration towards happiness above, rather than as a painful experience... As to my Requiem, perhaps I have also instinctively sought to escape from what is thought right and proper, after all the years of accompanying burial services on the organ! I know it all by heart. I wanted to write something different.”