Cantique de Jean Racine
Gabriel Fauré

104

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This much-loved choral classic is down 28 in this year's Hall of Fame

Fauré was a precociously brilliant composer. By his late teens, he had already developed his own unique and utterly assured musical voice. Nowhere is this better demonstrated than in his Cantique de Jean Racine. Composed in 1865, when Fauré was just twenty, it's very much a precursor to the Requiem, with similarly lush, intense choral writing layered on top of sparse organ accompaniment. As with the Requiem, it takes a religious text as its inspiration in this case, words by the French playwright Jean Racine.