Gabriel Fauré was a French composer sans parallèle whose musical extensions bridge ancient and modern music.
Nadia Boulanger, the great French pedagogue, taught some of the twentieth century's greatest American composers, from Copland to Glass. My teacher, John Kirkpatrick, formed his pedagogy under her tutelage in the 1920s. Her teaching was rooted in the structuralism of Stravinsky and the harmony and voice-leading of Fauré. Fauré's music, in its rhythmic modulations, architectural sequencing, and kaleidescopic harmonizations figures toward the modern. His study of Gregorian chant and the modal influence of his music point to the liturgic past. His works beautifully balance the contemporary and traditional repertoire in my programs.
In 1994 and 1995 I was fortunate to celebrate the Fauré sesquicentennial with two programs devoted to his music and several wonderful guest musicians.