His mother was the daughter of a minor member of the nobility. He was the only one of the six children to display musical talent; his four brothers pursued careers in journalism, politics, the army and the civil service, and his sister had a traditional life as the wife of a public servant. But the only thing I remember really clearly is the harmonium in that little chapel. I played atrociously
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He maintained her in a Paris apartment, and she acted openly as his companion. Roger-Ducasse later wrote, "Taking up whatever the pupils were working on, he would evoke the rules of the form at hand Written for outdoor performance, the work is scored for huge instrumental and vocal forces.
He appointed independent external judges to decide on admissions, examinations and competitions, a move which enraged faculty members who had given preferential treatment to their private pupils; feeling themselves deprived of a considerable extra income, many of them resigned. However, while he also became much more widely known as a composer, running the Conservatoire left him with no more time for composition than when he was struggling to earn a living as an organist and piano teacher.
He won the ballot by a narrow margin, with 18 votes against 16 for the other candidate, Widor. Not only did he start to go deaf, but sounds became distorted, so that high and low notes sounded painfully out of tune to him. He managed to get from Germany into Switzerland, and thence to Paris.
It was a poignant spectacle, indeed: that of a man present at a concert of his own works and able to hear not a single note. He sat gazing before him pensively, and, in spite of everything, grateful and content. Despite this, he remained available to young composers, including members of Les Six , most of whom were devoted to him. He refused for many years, on the grounds that it was too difficult. This is a genre which Beethoven in particular made famous, and causes all those who are not Beethoven to be terrified of it.
His works for the piano are marked by a classical French lucidity;  he was unimpressed by pianistic display, commenting of keyboard virtuosi, "the greater they are, the worse they play me. The lyricism and complexity of his style in the s are evident in the Nocturnes nos. Finally, the stripped-down style of the final period informs the last nocturnes nos. They are lyrical, generally impassioned pieces, sometimes anguished or wholly elegiac.
Fauré - Sicilienne
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