Requiem, Maurice Duruflé
Maurice Duruflé was a celebrated, yet intensely self-critical, French composer. The result was a handful of beautifully crafted works, of which his Requiem (1947) is probably one of the most celebrated.
Using the same structure as Fauré's Requiem, Duruflé incorporated plainsong and modal harmonies to create a poignant, timeless atmosphere. As in the Fauré, there are baritone and soprano solos, with a centrally placed Pie Jesu, this time with a cello obligato. The Requiem contains some stark, tragic moments, but its overlying mood is of contemplation and spiritual optimism. Particularly memorable are the dissolving chords which herald In Paradisum. We will be performing the version for choir and organ, with a few instrumental interpolations.