Shedd favorite Maria Jette returns to the Jaqua Concert Hall with pianist Sonja Thompson for another evening of exquisite art song, this time dedicated to the mélodies of the great Gabriel Fauré (1845-1924), the master of the form. Of the program Maria writes:
Contrary to the old saw, familiarity doesn’t always breed contempt, but with the pantheon of Western composers, it can lead to a feeling that we’ve heard what they have to say. If Gabriel Fauré had written nothing other than the famous (and gorgeous) Requiem, he would still be revered; but anyone who loves the Pie Jesu would adore his delectable songs. Fauré had excellent taste in poetry, and knew most of the poets whose works he set; and he was a meticulous craftsman, revising and honing a song until there wasn’t an extraneous note. The best thing about his songs, though, is that they are sensuously, gloriously beautiful, with the sort of magical melodies and harmonies that grab your ear when you hear them floating in from another room. They epitomize that particularly French talent for combining sunshine and moonlight, sweetness and a touch of bitterness, gossamer softness and crisp, Chanel-esque elegance.
On this program: some of Fauré’s best-loved songs ("Clair de lune", "Mandoline", "Au bord de l’eau"), and some lesser-known ("Nocturne", "Adieu"); his three delicious duets (with soprano Siri Vik), and a taste of his solo piano writing.