"Writ in remembrance more than things long past"- Cadential Relationships in Fauré's Mirages, op. 113

Author(s): 
Clare Sher Ling Eng
Volume: 
23
Year: 
2009
Material: 
Abstract: 

Fauré's musical language changed significantly during his long composing career. Towards the end of his life, his works are characterised by sparser textures and simpler sonorities. Example 1 illustrates with a reduction of the opening phrase of "Danseuse" in Mirages, op. 113.1 The stark simplicity - to the point of austerity - of the music is striking and almost unsettling, particularly to those familiar with Fauré's chromatic mid-period works like La Bonne Chanson, op. 61. Unease and frustration frequently accompany analytic forays into this repertoire. Unease arises from a lack of certainty concerning how to interpret this "simple" yet enormously expressive music; frustration develops as a consequence of realizing that a verbal articulation of the music's expressive eloquence is stymied by Fauré's musical economy. The music continues to speak, but our ability to put our understanding of its communication into words seems to have been lost to us.