Jane A. Lien

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)




Gabriel Faure occupies an important position in the history of French music. Through his conscious rejection of the influences of German romanticism he was instrumental in the recovery of artis tic standards which are thought of as typically French— logic, clar ity, moderation, balance— qualities which link Faure to a long line of French classical tradition. His stature in this respect is indis putable. His importance as a transitional figure in the overall course of music history is less commonly recognized. Bridging the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, he synthesized a traditional, yet progressive, musical style.

Faure's Preludes for Piano are relatively late works which pro vide a clear view of his stylistic synthesis— a synthesis which is characterized by a remarkable conciseness of construction. An exami nation of his use of harmony, melody, texture, rhythm and form in the Preludes reveals elements of an evolving musical style. Such an examination also provides important implications for the performer.

The importance of his work is not diminished by the fact that he will probably never be recognized as a major figure in the history of music. As a teacher he instilled in his students the high stan dards which permeated his compositional process. Faure intended that his music should enrich the lives of those who were open to it and in this respect he has been extremely successful.