Pavane (Op. 50) was written in 1887, the same year that Gabriel Fauré wrote his Requiem. The Pavane is a traditional Spanish dance, solemn and courtly, imitating the gait of the peacock (or pave in Spanish). The work has been arranged many times, following its premiere for orchestra and piano. Fauré himself arranged the work for chorus and orchestra, setting the poetry of his patron’s cousin, Robert de Montesquiou, for a garden party in the Bois do Boulogne (forest of Boulogne).
In subsequent arrangements, the poetry has often been omitted to allow for purely instrumental performances, most notably the solo piano arrangement by Wendy Hiscocks and Roy Howat. Jon Washburn’s arrangement for choir also omits the text, maintaining the instrumental quality of what has since become a well known classic.
The recording featured on this page is the Vancouver Chamber Choir, directed by Jon Washburn from their recording, A Quiet Place, Music for Healing III.