Home > Uncategorized > Fauré – Cantique De Jean Racine The Choir Of New College, Oxford.

Fauré – Cantique De Jean Racine The Choir Of New College, Oxford.

December 5, 2009 Leave a comment Go to comments

This is my favourite piece of choral music. Standard/period/full stop. I have many versions of it on my laptop and even filmed a quartet singing it whilst I was at uni.

The single-movement piece was written by the French composer Gabriel Fauré when he was only 19 years old back in 1864 and is normally just for an organ and mixed chorus, but the amazing John Rutter scored it for strings and harp which this version is a recording of. The text is by the poet Jean Racine who wrote it when he was only 17 in 1655. This recording was conducted by Edward Higginbottom and sung by The Choir of New College, Oxford.

It’s hard to pick a fave part of such a self-contained piece of beauty. I particularly like how the voices enter, firstly the bass at 0:42, then the tenor at 0:49, followed by the soprano at 1:02 and finally the alto at 1:09 which is also the first time that everyone sings in wonderful harmony. It then leads to a big crescendo at 1:30 which instantly comes down. The whole piece flows like a wave, a melancholic one but sitting underneath with so much happiness and hope.

Another particularly beautiful part for me is between 2:39-2:43 – where a beautiful diminished chord is sung and resolved.

But the best best part has to be from 2:53 when each voice enters singing “Qui La”, ending with a climax at 3:13 – 3:18. Epic.

Cantique De Jean Racine by massime

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