The Pavane’s popular appeal requires no explanation as its basis lies in the expert blend of simplicity with melancholy. It works with any programme whether inside or out.
Faure wrote his Pavane as a piano piece in 1887, describing it as ‘elegant, but not otherwise important’. He began work on the orchestral version a few months later, scoring it for modest forces, with the intention of performing it at a series of light Summer concerts that same year. At the behest of his benefactor, Elisabeth Greffulhe, he added a four-part choir, but it is rarely heard with chorus today. From the outset the Pavane enjoyed great popularity with its delicate and graceful arching melody lines underpinned by a steady pulse beating gently.