The Greeley Chorale is proud to present Maurice Duruflé's Requiem at our final concert of the 2021-22 Season. Join us on Saturday, April 9th at First Congregational Church in Greeley.
Duruflé's Requiem has become a favorite of choirs and audiences worldwide. In addition to this great work, the Chorale will present a program of a variety of short choral pieces.
About the Composer
Maurice Duruflé was one of the most eloquent contemporary spokesmen for the great tradition of French religious music. Born in 1902 in Louviers, he subsequently was a pupil at the Paris Conservatory of Louis Vierne, Charles Tournemire, and Paul Dukas, with whom he studied composition. His career as organist culminated in his appointment as Professor of Harmony at the Conservatory. In 1956 the Department of Seine presented him with the Grand Prix Musical, and in 1961 Pope John the XXIII conferred upon him the honor of Commander of the Order of Saint Gregory.
Duruflé in writing his Requiem has followed in the footsteps of Gabriel Faure (1845 – 1924). Faure toward the end of the 19th century had the temerity – in the face of Mozart’s, Cherubini’s, Berlioz’s and Verdi’s examples – to omit from his setting the Dies Irae, that great medieval poem so dramatically depicting the scenes of the Last Judgment. Rather, Faure stressed a setting of the Requiem Mass which was meant to be filled with consolation, hope, and serenity.
Even more than Faure, however, Duruflé has been influenced by the Gregorian Chants of the Mass for the Dead from which he has drawn his thematic material. Duruflé has described his Requiem in these terms:
“My Requiem is built entirely from the Gregorian themes of the Mass for the Dead. At times the text is paramount, and therefore the orchestra intervenes only to sustain or to comment; at other times an original musical fabric, inspired by the text takes over completely – notably in the Domine Jesu Christe, the Sanctus, and the Libera me. In general, I have tried to penetrate to the essence of the Gregorian style and have tried to reconcile as much as possible the very flexible Gregorian rhythms as established by the Benedictines of Solesmes with the exigencies of modern notation. As for the musical form of each of these movements, it is dictated by the form of the liturgy itself. The ensemble effect between voices and orchestra serves to emphasize the idea of comfort, faith, and hope.” Richard H. Trame, S.J., Ph.D.