Variations On A Theme By Gabriel Fauré
adapted/arr. Paul & Teresa Jennings
Sometimes programming a unique work can put your choir in a great place for the rest of the performance. In conceiving this piece, we thought it would provide just that special moment. Though we were inspired to write it in celebration of Fauré's 175th birthday (May 12, 1845), that is by no means a limitation on its use.
Based on one of his most beautiful and memorable melodies, from his "Pavane, Op. 50," we have set it for 2-part voices and orchestra. (If you have two good soloists you would like to feature, you may wish to start with them, then open into full choir at a point of your choosing.) To assist in learning their parts, let singers listen to the extracted rehearsal tracks on our web site. If you prefer to keep it all in unison, we have provided an example of that version as well, also on our web site.
One thing that makes this adaptation distinctive is that there are no lyrics, rather it uses vocalization syllables appropriate to the style of the variation being sung. The work is bookended by lyrical sections, the first of which grows into the different styles, building, then winding down again to a quiet closing.
Talking about form - Learning this piece gives you a great reason to discuss the concept of form, perhaps using some of the other pieces your students are singing as examples, too. As they listen, look at the parts of the form (A, B, etc.) in question, including the main theme and each variation in the Fauré. If possible, begin by looking at simpler forms, then more complex ones like rondo and theme and variations.
Great performances - Lest we fail to mention it, on our Performance/Accompaniment recording, your students will be treated to the exceptional solo work of two very fine players – Zachary DePue on violin and Mike Strauss on viola – as well as our usual stellar group of professional musicians.
Text is taken from Music K-8 magazine.