Requiem Op.9, Quatre Motets (2008)

Duruflé

The Choir of Magdalen College

Bill Ives

In all his liturgical music, Duruflé’s profound religious faith is evident, most notably in the celebrated Requiem, op.9, completed in 1947. Originally scored for soloists, chorus, orchestra and organ, the work was transcribed for chorus and solo organ in 1948. The third version, for small orchestra, dates from 1961. Its first performance, on November 2, 1947, at Paris’s Salle Gaveau, was led by Roger Désormière, with the French Radio Choir, under the direction of Yvonne Gouverné, and soloists Hélène Bouvier and Camille Maurane.

 Duruflé’s initial idea had been to compose a suite of organ pieces, each based on plainchant taken from the Mass for the Dead. Realizing his reluctance to detach the Latin text from the instrumental themes he had sketched, Duruflé transformed his design into a larger-scale work which became the Requiem. The text comprises nine of the sections forming the Mass for the Dead: Introit, Kyrie, Domine Jesu Christe, Sanctus, Pie Jesu, Agnus Dei, Lux Aeterna, Libera me, ending with the In Paradisum – the ultimate answer with which Faith allays all doubts: a depiction of the soul entering Paradise. To quote the composer:

 ‘The Requiem is entirely based on the Gregorian chant used in the Mass for the Dead. At times, the chant is incorporated unaltered and the orchestra intervenes only to accompany or to comment. At other times, it was from the Latin text alone that I took my inspiration, namely in the Domine Jesu Christe, Sanctus and Libera me. Throughout, I wished to be guided by the special shape of Gregorian melodies. As for the compositional form of each of the movements, it was suggested by the structure of the liturgy.... The organ is often used to give special emphasis to a line; it also represents a certain waning of Faith and Hope. The work is not meant as an ethereal paean to detachment from earthly cares; in its immutable form of a Christian prayer, the Requiem reflects man’s anguish as he contemplates the ultimate mystery of life and death. The music is at times dramatic or filled with a sense of resignation, hope or fear, mirroring the words of the Scriptures which form the liturgy. It aims to express the sentiments of a human being facing his or her terrifying, unfathomable or comforting fate.’

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The Choir of Magdalen College

Founded in 1480, the Choir of Magdalen College, Oxford was then one of the oldest and largest choral foundations in late- medieval England. That historic legacy has been preserved and maintained over five centuries. The Choir exists primarily to sing the daily church services in Magdalen College Chapel. They also sing at a number of special occasions throughout the year, including the famous May Day celebrations, an ancient tradition dating back to 1509.
In recent years Magdalen College Choir has toured Japan, USA, the Caribbean, Hungary, Italy, Belgium and France. In 1997 they made their debut at the BBC Proms. They have worked regularly with the film composer George Fenton, most notably in Richard Attenborough’s movie, Shadowlands, and on the award-winning soundtrack for the BBCTV series, Blue Planet and on the cinematic version, Deep Blue, in which the Choir joined forces with the Berlin Philharmonic. In November 2006 at the Royal Albert Hall they took part in the London premie?re of Paul McCartney’s classical piece, Ecce Cor Meum, written especially for the Choir.

Magdalen College Choir records for harmonia mundi usa. Their 2004 recording, With A Merry Noyse, was nominated for a Grammy, with BBC Music Magazine referring to its ‘perfectly paced dynamics and flawless ensemble’. Their most recent release, Listen Sweet Dove, is of choral and organ music by Bill Ives, the Choir’s currentdirector.

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Requiem Op.9, Quatre Motets (2008)

Duruflé

The Choir of Magdalen College

Mastering Engineer: Brad Michel
Producer: Robina G. Young
Recording Engineer: Keith Grant / Gerry O'Riordan / Brad Michel (DSD engineer)
Recording location: Magdalen College, Oxford England
Recording Software: Pyramix
Recording Type & Bit Rate: DSD64

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HMU907480: Requiem Op.9, Quatre Motets
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Tracks.
1.
Requiem, op. 9 - Introït
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2.
Requiem, op. 9 - Kyrie
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3.
Requiem, op. 9 - Domine Jesu Christe
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4.
Requiem, op. 9 - Sanctus
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5.
Requiem, op. 9 - Pie Jesu
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6.
Requiem, op. 9 - Agnus Dei
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7.
Requiem, op. 9 - Lux aeterna
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00:03:21   Select quality & channels above
8.
Requiem, op. 9 - Libera me
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9.
Requiem, op. 9 - In Paradisum
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10.
Requiem, op. 9 - Prélude sur l’Introït de l’Épiphanie
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11.
Requiem, op. 9 - Fugue sur un théme de - on a theme by Henri Rabaud
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12.
Quatre Motets sur des thèmes grégoriens, op. 10 - Ubi caritas
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13.
Quatre Motets sur des thèmes grégoriens, op. 10 - Tota pulchra es
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14.
Quatre Motets sur des thèmes grégoriens, op. 10 - Tu es Petrus
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15.
Quatre Motets sur des thèmes grégoriens, op. 10 - Tantum ergo
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16.
Quatre Motets sur des thèmes grégoriens, op. 10 - Chant donné en hommage à Jean Gallon
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17.
Quatre Motets sur des thèmes grégoriens, op. 10 - Méditation pour orgue
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18.
Messe 'Cum Jubilo', op. 11 - Kyrie
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19.
Messe 'Cum Jubilo', op. 11 - Gloria
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20.
Messe 'Cum Jubilo', op. 11 - Sanctus
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21.
Messe 'Cum Jubilo, op. 11 - Benedictus
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22.
Messe 'Cum Jubilo, op. 11 - Agnus Dei
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