Fauré made a piano transcription of the 'Pavane', but subsequently he revised his original orchestral score. Howat's new transcription is true to the spirit of Fauré's arrangement. The preface quotes from Sir Adrian Boult's recollection that Fauré preferred (and played the piece at) a tempo considerably faster than the rather doleful interpretations one often hears.
Edited and arranged by Wendy Hiscocks and Roy Howat
Fauré composed the Pavane in the summer of 1887, originally as a purely orchestral piece for the concert series of the Parisian conductor Jules Danubé. For some reason Danubé left it unperformed, a miscalculation he must have later regretted when the piece became immensely popular in various forms for orchestra or piano, with or without voices.
In 1975, in letters to Robert Orledge, Sir Adrian Boult recalled meeting Fauré and hearing him play at the London home of Leo Frank Schuster in 1906 and 1908.
Sir Adrian concludes:
"May I ask you to do all you can to prevent the prevalent performances of the Pavane as if it were a piece of German Romanticism, written by someone like Schumann with a full measure of sentiment. The words are obviously a leg-pull, and the scene is a number of young people dancing and chaffing each other…"
Extract from the Preface by editor Roy Howat