Hyperion Records

C'est la paix, Op 114
First line:
Pendant qu’ils étaient partis pour la guerre
8 December 1919, published in Le Figaro on 10 October 1920
author of text

'Fauré: The Complete Songs, Vol. 1 – Au bord de l'eau' (CDA67333)
Fauré: The Complete Songs, Vol. 1 – Au bord de l'eau
Buy by post £10.50 CDA67333 

C'est la paix, Op 114
It was Fauré’s unenviable task, as critic of Le Figaro, to set to music a poem that had won the newspaper’s prize for the best poem about peace. The composer had already avoided a commission for a work celebrating the allied victory. Fauré regarded this text by someone otherwise unknown in the world of literature as a ‘horrible little poem’. In the end the composer, as Nectoux puts it, salvaged his self-respect; he was even rather proud of the result, calling it ‘a small tour de force’. Dotted rhythms pervade the music which recalls the music for Ulysses’ triumphant return in Pénélope. Yet it is clear that Fauré, unlike his rabidly anti-German mentor Saint-Saëns, is no triumphalist. It takes some time for the rejoicing tonality of A major to be established, and even then he manages to overcome any jingoistic bluster in favour of gratitude and relief. Built into this somewhat muted music there is a veil of sadness, a comment on the pointlessness and waste of the whole terrible episode. The prize-winning poetess must have been furious; she objected mightily to the composer cutting her poem in half and replacing the patriotic slang ‘poilus’ with the simple word ‘soldats’.

from notes by Graham Johnson © 2005

Track-specific metadata
Details for CDA67333 track 22
Recording date
1 January 2004
Recording venue
All Saints' Church, East Finchley, London, United Kingdom
Recording producer
Mark Brown
Recording engineer
Julian Millard
Hyperion usage
  1. Fauré: The Complete Songs, Vol. 1 – Au bord de l'eau (CDA67333)
    Disc 1 Track 22
    Release date: January 2005
   English   Français   Deutsch