Gabriel Fauré

Pelléas et Mélisande, op. 80


            For most of the concert-going public, Fauré is associated with his well-known work, the graceful Requiem, and little else.  While he did contribute a modicum of symphonic works to the literature, they largely met with little success, and frankly, the composer’s bent was not directed to the orchestral medium.   Rather, he was hugely successful as France’s most respected composer of song, and made important contributions to chamber music, as well.  Consequently, the incidental music that he wrote for Maeterlinck’s play, Pelléas et Mélisande is about his only work that is commonly heard in orchestral concerts—but a fine one, it is.