This morning program begins with two exquisite solo harp pieces. Une Châtelaine en sa Tour translates as "A noblewoman in her tower" and is derived from a beautiful poem. The title indicates the mood of the composition, which is beautiful, flowing, tasteful, and refined, qualities that mark all of Fauré's music. His Impromptu Op. 86 was written for the Paris Conservatory competition and has an air of magnificence while utilizing the many colors of the harp.
Fauré was commissioned by his friend and colleague, Paul Taffanel, to write two pieces for flute and piano in 1898. The two pieces were again to be used for examinations at the Paris Conservatory. The Fantaisie, Op. 79 was designed to be a virtuosic demonstration of the students’ skills, while the Morceau de Concours was created to show phrasing, style, rhythm, and musical understanding. The Five Impromptus are delicate short pieces that are meant to seem improvised and full of fancy.