Quatre Melodies by Gabriel Faure arranged for two guitars by Gregg Nestor
Gabriel Urbain Faure (1845-1924) was one of the great composers of French song who perfected the melodie as a true art song form. He created an extraordinary range of songs, all original in conception and constantly developing in style, extending the musical parameters of French song and inspiring new techniques of vocal composition.
Le Papillon et la Fleur was, in fact, Faure's first published composition was composed, in his words "in the school dining hall amid the smells of the kitchen," and is one of the composer's most simple and direct melodies.
Apres un Reve is one of Faure's best-known and most beguiling works for voice. The text describes a dream in which the narrator and her beloved come together in an almost unworldly meeting, followed by a longing to return to this dream state after awakening. In Au Bord de l'Eau both the voice and guitar accompaniment evoke the flowing water the text describes, with gentle arpeggios suggesting ripples on the water. Occasionally the melodic focus is passed from singer to accompaniment amongst shifts between minor and major modes.
In Dans les Ruines d'une Abbaye the poet Victor Hugo juxtaposes a young newly married couple amid the ruins of an abbey, two near-opposites. The tune is as light as the mood of the newlyweds the song depicts, with simple rippling accompaniment on the guitar.