Arrangements for Strings

Gabriel Fauré: Cantique de Jean Racine, Opus 11

Arranged for string orchestra by Michele Winter

Score & Parts (

Grade 3.5

Duration: 5:30

Gabriel Fauré (1845–1924) was a French composer, organist, pianist, and teacher. At the age of ten he received a scholarship to study music at the École Niedermeyer in Paris. The Cantique de Jean Racine, Op. 11, for mixed chorus and harmonium (reed organ), won Fauré the first prize in composition when he graduated from the École at the age of nineteen.

Jean Racine (1639–1699) was one of the greatest French playwrights of his time. The text of Fauré's Cantique is Racine's French paraphrase of a Latin hymn for matins, a service of morning prayer.

Michele Winter's arrangement is set in D major—up a half step from the original. The dynamics are Fauré's. The bowings and articulations are editorial. The arrangement uses Fauré's four vocal lines (SATB) and the harmonium part without its running triplets. Although the triplets have been left out, the harmonies and the cantabile character remain intact and convincing. None of the string parts go beyond first position, but players need to be familiar with extensions and unusual accidentals. Bow control and vibrato will contribute to a mature sound and help to dramatize the forte passages. This piece is perfect for concerts, festivals, and events that require deeply moving music.  Share Fauré's glorious French romantic harmonies with your students and their audiences.

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