In 1906 Gabriel Fauré (1845-1924) wrote his Pièce for the vocal teacher at the Paris Conservatoire, A.L. Hettich.
This teacher collected vocalises and published them from 1907 in ten volumes through Alphonse Leduc Publishers, under the title Répertoire Moderne de Vocalises-Études
. This collection reads like the Who's who of important composers who lived in Paris at the beginning of the 20th century
- including Villa-Lobos, Copland, Ravel, Pizzetti, Nielsen and five members of the Groupe des Six. The most famous piece from the collection is probably Maurice Ravel's Vocalise-étude en forme de habanera
, better known under the later title Pièce en forme de habanera
Hettich explained in the introduction, that he wanted to use his collection to provide practice material for singing modern music. His studies, which explored sonority, were intended to encourage people to tackle contemporary music and advanced harmony whereby it is worth noting that he only accepted tonal works and ruled out composers of atonal music from participating in his project.
The original key of this piece was E minor. In consideration
of the sound range of the viola, I have transposed it into B minor. Phrasing and articulation were also altered to make them more appropriate for the instrument. The viola repertoire, which unfortunately does not contain many Romantic masterpieces, is somewhat enriched by the adaptation of Faurés short composition.