Traditionally, at its heart, [a requiem] is a prayerful lament for the dead. Fauré’s Requiem was altogether different, though, because here was a composer who, unlike many of his contemporaries, had no clear religious beliefs.
By contrast, he was very much a doubter, described by his own son as ‘a sceptic’. In place of the sombre nature of many requiems that had gone before, Fauré’s is noted for its calm, serene and peaceful outlook.
The best recording may well be one I own, the iteration with Robert Shaw (Conductor), Atlanta Symphony Orchestra & Chorus (Orchestra), Judith Blegen (Soprano), James Morris (Baritone). It also contains the Duruflé Requiem. I bought that CD for my sister Leslie, who will be singing it in the San Diego area this Lenten season.
LISTEN to Gabriel Fauré’s Requiem, Op. 48
1. Introït et Kyrie (D minor) 0:00
2. Offertoire (B minor) 6:24
3. Sanctus (E-flat major) 14:36
4. Pie Jesu (B-flat major) 18:07
5. Agnus Dei et Lux Aeterna (F major) 21:48
6. Libera Me (D minor) 27:55
7. In Paradisum (D major) 32:16