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Duruflé Requiem

  • Sacred Heart Church Cnr of Pelham and Rathdowne Sts Carlton Australia (map)

Maurice Duruflé (1902-1986): Requiem Op. 9
Francis Poulenc (1899-1963): Figure Humaine
Gabriel Fauré (1845-1924): Messe Basse, transcription for a cappella choir by Andrew Raiskums
Olivier Messiaen (1908-1992): O sacrum convivium

This concert brings together two of the most imposing choral works from twentieth-century France: Maurice Duruflé’s sublime Requiem and Francis Poulenc’s searing Figure Humaine.

Clearly referring to Fauré’s example, Duruflé chose to set exactly the same texts that Fauré used in his Requiem. Durufle’s Requiem is a tour-de-force; from the use of Gregorian chants to generate almost all the thematic material in the work to the ease with which Duruflé builds beguiling textures around these chants, and the virtuosity of the organ part.

Figure Humaine is one of Poulenc’s greatest works: a cantata for two six-part choirs, written during the Nazi occupation of France. Using a selection of poems by Paul Eluard, including the celebrated ‘Liberté’, Figure Humaine expresses ‘the suffering of the people of France’ and the ‘hope of the final triumph over tyranny’. This programme also features Fauré’s Messe Basse, in a transcription for a cappella choir and Messiaen’s spellbinding O sacrum Convivium.

Earlier Event: 24 June
Heavenly Harmonies
Later Event: 18 November
American Classics