Cantique de Jean Racine
Gabriel Fauré


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The second of 3 entries for Fauré in the Ultimate Hall of Fame. This fell to its lowest ever position of number 104 — slipping out of the top 100 for the first time — in the latest countdown.

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.