Tune of the Day: Sicilienne
This Sicilienne is among Fauré's most familiar pieces; it began life as an orchestral sketch in 1893, intended as incidental music for a revival of Molière's play Le Bourgeois gentilhomme. Left incomplete as that establishment went bankrupt, Fauré rounded it off and arranged it for cello (or violin) and piano in 1898 as Op. 78. He also included an orchestrated version of it as part of his Op. 80 incidental music for a London production of Maeterlinck's Pelléas et Mélisande. In this play, the gentle melody of the Sicilienne introduces the scene at the beginning of Act Two, in which Mélisande's wedding ring slips from her finger and disappears into a well as she plays gently with Pelléas.
Fauré's original tempo indication was “Andantino”; he changed this to “Allegretto molto moderato” in the orchestral version.