Gabriel Faure: Elegie, Op. 24

By Performance
December 10, 2022Music

Nadège Rochat and Malgorzata Garstka play “Elegie” Op. 24 for cello and piano by Gabriel Fauré.

From Nadège Rochat:

“I have been told very often during my studies (back then when wikipedia didn’t exist) that Gabriel Fauré wrote this piece as his wife died. Even here on youtube, you will find a famous teacher stating this…
Facts are that Gabriel Fauré got married after writing the Elegy.

There is incredible sorrow in this piece, this is indisputable.
But here is what Gabriel Fauré said about his requiem (Mass for the dead): “Mon réquiem n’a été composé pour rien… pour le plaisir, si j’ose dire…” – “My requiem was composed for no particular reason… for fun if I dare say…”

This (disappointing?) statement about the requiem, and the fact that Fauré’s wife didn’t die before he wrote the Elegy shouldn’t take away any emotion which we may feel as we perform or listen to these two sorrowful works. But I just wanted to warn you, dear public, about shortcuts. Sometimes a particular event inspires a work. But more often, we can’t pin down what exactly inspired a stunning work. In the case of this Elegy, as for the requiem, I suppose that we have to live with the mystery.

To learn more about Gabriel Fauré, here is an invaluable English version of the book “Gabriel Fauré” by Charles Koechlin, which you can read online (for now!)

Nadège Rochat –

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