Gabriel-Urbain Fauré (1845-1924), was a composer whose refined and gentle music influenced the course of modern French music.
In 1896 he was appointed church organist at the church of La Madeleine in Paris and professor of composition at the Paris Conservatory. In 1905 he succeeded Théodore Dubois as director of the conservatory. Among his students were Maurice Ravel, Georges Enesco, and Nadia Boulanger.
One of the most striking features of his style was his fondness for daring harmonic progressions and sudden modulations, invariably carried out with supreme elegance and a deceptive air of simplicity. His quiet and unspectacular revolution prepared the way for more sensational innovations by the modern French school.
Berceuse, Op. 16, is a short piece written in or about 1879. In its original version it is for solo violin and piano. It is dedicated to the composer's friend Hélène Depret, who, together with her husband, had introduced Fauré into influential musical circles at the beginning of his career. The composer later published a version for violin and orchestra, and the work has been arranged by others for various musical forces. This version for cello and guitar by Gregg Nestor brings out the beautiful and intimate textures that were a hallmark of the composer's craft.
We are grateful to Cecilia Palma and Edwin Guevara of Dúo Villa-Lobos who contributed to refinements of this edition.