Fauré – Sicilienne

FP350 Gabriel Fauré Sicilienne Two Flutes and Piano Grade 5 3′ 45″

Gabriel Fauré (1845 – 1924) was so busy as an organist and teacher he had insufficient time to compose as much as he would like. Nevertheless, he became particularly noted for his vocal compositions and the Requiem is perhaps his best loved work. He also wrote fine instrumental music, the Sicilienne and more ambitious Fantasie being the main representatives for the flute.

Fauré was commissioned to compose incidental music to Maeterlinck’s play Pelléas et Mélisande and it received its first performance at the Prince of Wales Theatre in London in 1898. Sicilienne, though beginning life elsewhere, became the third movement. It is played at the beginning of the second Act, where Mélisande’s wedding ring slips from her finger as she dallies with Pelléas.

The Siciliana, as a musical dance form, is most frequently encountered in the Baroque; it features as a movement in the flute sonatas of both Handel and Bach. Typically, it is in compound time and is in the minor mode. Fauré also followed this pattern in his Sicilienne. Aware he was onto a good thing, he also made a version for cello and piano, whilst Henri Büsser made a flute version.

This FlutePlay arrangement follows the call and response nature of the phrases, whilst also noting inner melodies. It is around Grade V level in all instruments. The problems faced by this standard of wind player are likely to be more musical than technical and the foreword contains advice on these aspects of performance. It would be ideal for the school concert; for the performers the parts are of similar standard; for the listeners, the piece is well-known, attractive and not too long!

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