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Duruflé/Poulenc - Requiem & Motets - The Guardian

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“During a long career, the French organist-composer Maurice Duruflé (1902-86) was a towering figure in the specialist world of French organ music, but his much-loved Requiem, Op 9 has given his name wider resonance. Between 1947 and 1961 he made three versions of this choral work for different forces. For an atmospheric new release on Hyperion, recorded in the church of Saint-Eustache, Paris, with the mixed-voice Choir of Trinity College Cambridge, conductor Stephen Layton has chosen the second (1948), with organ only (excepting the Pie Jesu, with cello solo). Harrison Cole, a recent Trinity organ scholar, deftly exploits the rich colours of the Parisian organ – one of the largest in France – its great reverberations conjuring the candlelit spiritualism in which Duruflé was steeped. The accompanying Four Lenten Motets for unaccompanied voices by Francis Poulenc (1899-1963) – first sung on Good Friday 1939 – are superbly sung. As in the Duruflé, dynamics are precisely observed by this expertly drilled choir.”

Fiona Maddocks

Duruflé/Poulenc - Requiem & Motets
Hyperion Records CDA68436