Throughout the Sundays of Lent, the Chancel Choir has sung movements of Requiem by Maurice Duruflé (1902-1986).
Though his meticulous perfectionism limited his published output to a mere handful of works, Duruflé has demonstrated an ability to borrow from those things good and beautiful composed for us by masters throughout the centuries and bind them all amidst the constant underpinning of Gregorian chant. This has resultied in some of the most sublime and resplendent music of our time. His work has contributed immeasurably to the art of liturgical music and has opened for us a better understanding of the applications of chant in the modern church.
The Requiem, Duruflé’s longest and most substantial work, was composed in 1947 and follows the form and character of the setting by Gabriel Fauré. Like Fauré, Duruflé chose to break away from the operatic and highly dramatic Requiem settings of Berlioz and Verdi. He sought to focus his setting not on visions of hell and damnation but on images of rest and peace.
Our presentation of Requiem will culminate on Palm Sunday as we sing the Sanctus. Translated from the Latin: Holy, Holy, Holy, Lord God of Hosts. Heaven and earth are full of thy glory. Hosanna in the highest! (Translation by Ron Jeffers.)