Fauré – 9 Préludes, Op. 103
The French composer Gabriel Fauré (1845–1924) wrote in many genres, including songs, chamber music, orchestral pieces, and choral works. His compositions for piano, written between the 1860s and the 1920s, include some of his best known works.
Fauré’s major sets of piano works are thirteen nocturnes, thirteen barcarolles, six impromptus, and four valses-caprices. These sets were composed during several decades in his long career, and display the change in his style from uncomplicated youthful charm to a final enigmatic, but sometimes fiery introspection, by way of a turbulent period in his middle years. His other notable piano pieces, including shorter works, or collections composed or published as a set, are Romances sans paroles, Ballade in F♯ major, Mazurka in B♭ major, Thème et variations in C♯ major, and Huit pièces brèves. For piano duet, Fauré composed the Dolly Suite and, together with his friend and former pupil André Messager, an exuberant parody of Wagner in the short suite Souvenirs de Bayreuth.
Much of Fauré’s piano music is difficult to play, but is rarely virtuosic in style. The composer disliked showy display, and the predominant characteristic of his piano music is a classical restraint and understatement.