One of the most important late/post-Romantic composers to come out of France, Faure was the bridge between Frederic Chopin's delicate melodic sensitivity and Claude Debussy's coloristic, impressionistic flourishes. Though he wrote a few operas, including Penelope, Faure was most known for his beautiful songs (over a hundred of them) written with refined clarity. Songs like "La Bonne Chanson" burst with innovative harmonies and luscious, transparent melodies floating above. Faure's melodic mastery came out of years of historical study: more than most of his contemporaries, Faure had a musicologist's knowledge of plainchant and other ancient forms, combined with a grasp of the music of Bach, Chopin, Mendelssohn and other masters, most notably his teacher Camille Saint-Saens. Outside of France, Faure has been considered a lesser composer due to his lack of orchestral expertise, but his quiet piano songs speak louder than many symphonies -- and his influence can be felt in the music of his pupil Maurice Ravel, as well as any other composers interested in the art of lyric song.