Duruflé Requiem

Inspired organ-playing makes this a superior recording of Duruflé’s Requiem

Record and Artist Details

Composer or Director: Maurice Duruflé, Jean-Jacques Grunenwald, Jeremy Filsell

Genre:

Vocal

Label: Signum

Media Format: CD or Download

Media Runtime: 0

Mastering:

Stereo
DDD

Catalogue Number: SIGCD163

Tracks:

Composition Artist Credit
Tu es petrus Jean-Jacques Grunenwald, Composer
Jean-Jacques Grunenwald, Composer
Jeremy Backhouse, Conductor
Vasari Singers
Psalm CXXIX (De Profundis) Jean-Jacques Grunenwald, Composer
Jean-Jacques Grunenwald, Composer
Jeremy Backhouse, Conductor
Jeremy Filsell, Composer
Vasari Singers
(4) Motets sur des thèmes grégoriens Maurice Duruflé, Composer
Jeremy Backhouse, Conductor
Maurice Duruflé, Composer
Vasari Singers
Requiem Maurice Duruflé, Composer
Christopher Maltmann, Baritone
Jeremy Backhouse, Conductor
Jeremy Filsell, Composer
Maurice Duruflé, Composer
Robert Cohen, Cello
Sarah Connolly, Mezzo soprano
Vasari Singers
Disappointment that this recording uses the version of the Requiem with organ-only accompaniment (with the addition in the “Pie Jesu” of Robert Cohen’s sumptuously lyrical cello) quickly turned to something approaching ecstasy when, within two bars, it became manifestly obvious that Jeremy Filsell was giving us something very distinguished indeed. He has clearly studied Duruflé’s orchestral versions and pulls out whatever stops necessary on the Tonbridge School organ to recreate the effect the composer was seeking. On the strength of such inspired organ accompaniment, this disc immediately places itself head and shoulders above any other recording of this version and makes a compelling case for the validity of it as a concert rather than a purely liturgical performing version.

Easy as it is to be diverted by the sheer genius of Filsell’s organ accompaniment, it would be wrong to understate the extraordinarily insightful direction of Jeremy Backhouse who reveals this lovely score in all its grace and open-hearted sincerity. The matchless quality of the Vasari Singers is more vividly displayed in fervent and beautifully shaped accounts of the Quatre Motets while, following a monumentally impressive account of Jean-Jacques Grunenwald’s Tu es Petrus, we have his extended setting of the Latin psalm, De profundis. Grunenwald’s setting has much of the vivid colouring and sequence of distinct images which characterises his film music and, as a result, lacks a certain overall cohesion. Musically it may be more a succession of moments than a structured entity, but the sum of those moments, each delivered with consummate attention to detail by an extraordinarily able choir and an astonishingly perceptive organist, is a performance not just of Technicolor magic but some emotional depth too.

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