When in 1893 a production of Molière’s Le bourgeois gentilhomme
folded, leaving Fauré’s incidental music unheard, the composer took one piece from it and in 1898 recycled it twice, first in the London production of Maeterlinck’s Pelléas et Mélisande
, then as a Sicilienne
for various combinations. It is a delicate little piece, ending with a subtle juxtaposition of the keys of G minor and E flat major in which the main sections have been couched. It is dedicated to the English cellist William Henry Squire, who in 1898 was a member of the Queen’s Hall Orchestra and later toured with the contralto Clara Butt.
from notes by Roger Nichols © 2012