About this work
Much music originally intended for church performance has made its way into the performance hall, such as the masses of Mozart and César Franck's Panis angelicus (1872). Included among such works is Gabriel Fauré's cantique En prière (1890), which has become a staple of French song recitals. En prière is highly melodious and intimate in mood. The accompaniment consists almost entirely of arpeggios, though Fauré makes light use of block chords in the last stanza and heavier chords only at the end. The vocal lines, by contrast, are far more subtle and do not always follow predictable paths. Such treatment allows the focus to remain on text and singer, as is evidenced by the understated change from openness and hope to hints of foreboding on the final words, "on Calvary."