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Thread: Exploring Music by the Unique French Composer Maurice Durufle

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    Senior Member mathisdermaler's Avatar
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    Default Exploring Music by the Unique French Composer Maurice Durufle

    Durufle's requiem is one of the most incredible works I have heard in all of modern classical music. His motets are also excellent but other than that I find it hard to find any discussion around his music, or even recordings of it. What do you think about this composer, which pieces would you recommend, and in which versions?
    "Not fare well, but fare forward, voyagers." -T.S. Eliot

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    Durufle's Requiem, like that of Faure, comes in three versions: one for full orchestra, one for chamber orchestra, and one for organ accompaniment. So there's an added dimension to explore.

    I have a couple versions of this music in my collection; not many, a couple of CDs and one vinyl version. The vinyl record, some decades old now (Recorded: 1958), on the Musical Heritage label remains my "go to" version, as it is conducted by the composer.

    Maurice Duruflé - Requiem
    Helen Bouvier, mezzo soprano
    Xavier Depraz, bass
    Marie-Madeleine Duruflé-Chevalier, organ
    Philippe Caillard and Stephane Caillat Chorales
    Maurice Duruflé conducts Orchestre de l'Association des Concerts Lamoureux

    Were I to grab a CD, it would be the TELARC release, CD-80135, featuring Robert Shaw and the Atlantic Symphony Orchestra and Chorus. Not that this is the "best" version, but it's handy for me, being on the CD shelf under the F's, since it also features a reading of the Faure Requiem, Op. 48. The other Duruflé's I have are in box sets of Choral music, in a different room on a different shelf. So ...

    durufle 2.jpg

    It is a beautiful work, this Requiem. But you must at least once hear the composer's own interpretation. I believe the Duruflé/Concerts Lamoureux version is still available on a CD from APEX:


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    Durufle's Requiem is one of my favorite choral works. I like the Kings College recording and also the British recording by the Croydon Singers. Do you have a favorite?

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    Senior Member D Smith's Avatar
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    Durufle's Requiem has long been my favourite choral work of any era. I own quite a few versions but my most listened to is by Andrew Davis and the Philharmonia; Kiri Te Kanawa, Siegmund Nimsgern and the Ambrosian Singers.

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