Gabriel Urbain Fauré (1845 - 1924) was a French
composer, organist, pianist and teacher. He was one of
the foremost French composers of his generation, and
his musical style influenced many 20th century
composers. Among his best-known works are his Nocturnes
for piano, the songs "Après un rêve" and "Clair de
lune", and his Requiem.
Faure composed "Noël" in 1885 clearly as an occasional
piece; a little Christmas song destined for a
performance where a harmonium was available to add a
festive carillon color to the piano accompaniment.
The original text embraces a traditional religiosity to
which Faure responds dutifully at the end of the piece,
although a certain atypical unctuousness hovers
uncomfortably over the music unless it is performed
with open-hearted innocence.
Although this work was originally written for Piano,
Harmonium and voice, I created this arrangement for
Viola & Classical Guitar to retain it's color and
elegance (sans harmonium).