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Pavane for a Dead Infant , Gabriel Faure

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  • #61783
    Gretchen Cover
    Participant

    I just received an email from a local amateur orchestra asking if I could play the harp part for the Faure Pavane for a Dead Infant next April. I am by no means an accomplished orchestral harpist but I could play something not too difficult. Faure = Scary so I want to check this out before responding.

    I have searched the internet and cannot find this piece. Is this even the correct name? Any help in finding the harp score so I can review it would be greatly appreciated. Any comments on the difficulty appreciated as well.

    #61784
    barbara-brundage
    Participant

    Hi, Gretchen. ‘Pavane pour une infante defunte’ means ‘Pavane for a Dead Infanta’ (i.e., Spanish Princess). However, that piece is by Ravel. The Faure Pavane is just called “Pavane”, so first I’d clarify which they mean. There’s no harp in the original scoring for the Faure, if that’s the piece.

    If it’s really the Ravel, you can download the original harp part here:

    http://imslp.org/wiki/Pavane_pour_une_infante_défunte_(Ravel,_Maurice)

    (just noticed the typo in the title–sorry about that)

    #61785
    Gretchen Cover
    Participant

    Thank you, Barbara. I did send an email to the conductor asking if he has his pavane’s correct. I appreciate your putting the link to Ravel in your reply.

    #61786
    barbara-brundage
    Participant

    You’re welcome, Gretchen. As you can see, it’s pretty easy, if it is the Ravel.

    #61787
    Loonatik
    Member

    Oh… i thought it was really a Pavane for a dead infant, which sounded quite morbid.

    #61788
    Gretchen Cover
    Participant

    Dead Spanish princess (une infante defunte) is fairly creepy, too:)

    #61789
    barbara-brundage
    Participant

    Well, according to most of the biographies of Ravel, it means “dead” as in “long dead, from a century long ago”, as opposed to a funeral march or something like that. Although they say it was just meant to be a sort of homage to antique Spanish court life and dances, it’s certainly true that Velazquez’s “Las Meninas” was extremely popular around that time and inspired a number of other creative works around the same time, so I’ve always wondered if that weren’t really what Ravel was thinking of when he wrote it.

    EDIT Although many of Ravel’s biographers say he always wrote first, then thought up a title.

    #61790
    Gretchen Cover
    Participant

    Interesting commentary on the pavane title. Thanks for sharing the information.

    #61791
    carl-swanson
    Participant

    My French-English dictionary defines defunt as ‘former’, or ‘late’. So the Ravel title would translate better as Pavane for a former princess, or ‘the late princess.’

    #61792

    We were playing this piece once with our former music director, Sergiu Comissiona. It may have been dragging a bit, so he commented, “You are playing Pavane for a Dead Princess, not Dead Pavane for a Princess.”

    #61793
    Gretchen Cover
    Participant

    Clever remark! (BTW, I meant to type infante in the initial post and didn’t realize the “e” was left off:)

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