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Friday, May 12, 2006

Very Frenchy

Gabriel Faure, to me, is the essence of French. Together with Charles Baudelaire and his epic poetry collection, Fleurs de Mal, or Flowers of Evil, they form they form a powerful force in French Romanticism. The key traits are: short, dense works, heavy use of symbolism, and an over-riding sense of loss, although what exactly, and how real the loss is, we never quite know. A sort of patient bitterness, Endurance.

Faure celebrates his 161 birthday today, so let's all sing a French song, and eat croissants for breakfast. Barring that, here's a beautiful recording of Faure's last nocturne, opus 119, that sums up his art and character. Courtesy of the Piano Society, here.