Author Topic: Maurice Durufle (1902-1986)  (Read 9638 times)

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Offline vandermolen

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Maurice Durufle (1902-1986)
« on: August 24, 2008, 11:32:53 PM »
I don't remember seeing a Durufle thread before. I was listening this morning to his organ work "Prelude et Fugue sur le nom D'Alain", a tribute to Jehan Alain, a composer killed in World War Two. It is a great work, very moving and I find myself playing it over and over again.

Durufle didn't write much being very self-critical but, what there is is all very high quality. The Faure inspired Requiem is his best known piece (often coupled with Faure's Requiem on CD), a truly beautiful score.

My favourite recording of the Alain Tribute is on Hyperion with John Scott on the organ of St Paul's Cathedral in London and, surprisingly perhaps, my favourite recording of the Requiem is conducted by the film composer Michel Legrand (Warner Elatus, v good value).

Any other Durufle admirers?
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Offline Lethevich

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Re: Maurice Durufle (1902-1986)
« Reply #1 on: August 25, 2008, 08:33:37 AM »
I enjoy his music a fair bit, but unfortunately I find him a minor figure compared to the composers surrounding him composing for choir and organ (Marcel Dupré, Francis Poulenc, and of course Fauré). His Mass 'Cum Jubilo', Gregorian motets and Notre Pere are very fine works, but that he wrote nothing else discourages discussion as there are no "discoveries" waiting to be recommended...

Much like Varèse, his complete works can probably fit onto two CDs (one choral, one organ), so there isn't much excuse not to hear him ;D
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Offline vandermolen

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Re: Maurice Durufle (1902-1986)
« Reply #2 on: August 25, 2008, 03:14:09 PM »
I enjoy his music a fair bit, but unfortunately I find him a minor figure compared to the composers surrounding him composing for choir and organ (Marcel Dupré, Francis Poulenc, and of course Fauré). His Mass 'Cum Jubilo', Gregorian motets and Notre Pere are very fine works, but that he wrote nothing else discourages discussion as there are no "discoveries" waiting to be recommended...

Much like Varèse, his complete works can probably fit onto two CDs (one choral, one organ), so there isn't much excuse not to hear him ;D

Yes, a good point but I wanted at least to recommend the Alain organ tribute to those who might not have heard it.
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Offline drogulus

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Re: Maurice Durufle (1902-1986)
« Reply #3 on: August 25, 2008, 03:30:07 PM »
I don't remember seeing a Durufle thread before. I was listening this morning to his organ work "Prelude et Fugue sur le nom D'Alain", a tribute to Jehan Alain, a composer killed in World War Two. It is a great work, very moving and I find myself playing it over and over again.

Durufle didn't write much being very self-critical but, what there is is all very high quality. The Faure inspired Requiem is his best known piece (often coupled with Faure's Requiem on CD), a truly beautiful score.

My favourite recording of the Alain Tribute is on Hyperion with John Scott on the organ of St Paul's Cathedral in London and, surprisingly perhaps, my favourite recording of the Requiem is conducted by the film composer Michel Legrand (Warner Elatus, v good value).

Any other Durufle admirers?

     Yes, and I think after the Requiem the most impressive works he wrote are the Prelude et Fugue sur le nom D'Alain, and the Organ Sonata, though everything in his tiny output is worth hearing, and the motets are simply beautiful.

     I love Alain's Litanies, BTW.
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Offline Lethevich

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Re: Maurice Durufle (1902-1986)
« Reply #4 on: August 25, 2008, 04:07:38 PM »
Yes, a good point but I wanted at least to recommend the Alain organ tribute to those who might not have heard it.

Indeedie, it worked as a recommendation for me - I need to relisten to that piece sometime. I have a disc of organ works on BIS, not sure how it compares to the rivals.
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Offline drogulus

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Re: Maurice Durufle (1902-1986)
« Reply #5 on: August 27, 2008, 01:28:51 PM »

     Fugue from Prelude et Fugue sur le nom D'Alain
   
     <a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch/v/JR-sqchqWnE" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer" class="bbc_link bbc_flash_disabled new_win">http://www.youtube.com/watch/v/JR-sqchqWnE</a>
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Offline vandermolen

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Re: Maurice Durufle (1902-1986)
« Reply #6 on: August 29, 2008, 02:23:14 PM »
     Fugue from Prelude et Fugue sur le nom D'Alain
   
     <a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch/v/JR-sqchqWnE" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer" class="bbc_link bbc_flash_disabled new_win">http://www.youtube.com/watch/v/JR-sqchqWnE</a>

Thank you very much indeed for this link. Played slower than on my CD and it was great to hear an alternative but still enjoyable performance.
« Last Edit: August 29, 2008, 02:25:56 PM by vandermolen »
"Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm" (Churchill).

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Offline drogulus

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Re: Maurice Durufle (1902-1986)
« Reply #7 on: August 29, 2008, 02:58:05 PM »


    It sounds close to the version by Marie-Madeleine Durufle-Chevalier.

   

    This is a fabulous disc for Durufle. Unfortunately, it's not available at a reasonable price.

    However:

     

     
(Click the pic for link)

     This disc has the same performances of the P & F, the Messe 'Cum Jubilo', Quatre Motets, and the Requiem, conducted by the composer. The latter was on another Erato disc originally. So this one is a must have, I would think.
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Offline vandermolen

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Re: Maurice Durufle (1902-1986)
« Reply #8 on: August 29, 2008, 11:36:26 PM »

    It sounds close to the version by Marie-Madeleine Durufle-Chevalier.

   

    This is a fabulous disc for Durufle. Unfortunately, it's not available at a reasonable price.

    However:

     

     
(Click the pic for link)

     This disc has the same performances of the P & F, the Messe 'Cum Jubilo', Quatre Motets, and the Requiem, conducted by the composer. The latter was on another Erato disc originally. So this one is a must have, I would think.

I have both CDs. You are right, they are excellent. The two companion Eratos are probably my favourite Durufle recordings. However, the most interesting recent discovery has been Michel Legrand's recording of the Requiem.
"Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm" (Churchill).

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Offline Mirror Image

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Re: Maurice Durufle (1902-1986)
« Reply #9 on: March 22, 2011, 07:23:41 PM »
I've just started back listening to Durufle again after a two year hiatus or so. His Requiem, which is the only work I'm familiar with in his output, is an incredibly moving composition. I dare say it rivals my other favorites: Mozart, Brahms, Faure, Berlioz, Britten, and Verdi. Anyway, I have just acquired my second recording of this work with Matthew Best conducting the English Chamber Orchestra with the Corydon Singers on Hyperion. The audio samples sounded fantastic on Hyperion's website. I can tell this is going to be a very rich, warm sounding recording. Has anyone heard this performance?
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Re: Maurice Durufle (1902-1986)
« Reply #10 on: March 22, 2011, 07:37:47 PM »
I have never listened to Durufle. Ever.


<a href="http://www.youtube.com/v/QWekKdoVOeo&amp;feature=related" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer" class="bbc_link bbc_flash_disabled new_win">http://www.youtube.com/v/QWekKdoVOeo&amp;feature=related</a>
But this is very good. Lots of soul.

Offline Mirror Image

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Re: Maurice Durufle (1902-1986)
« Reply #11 on: March 22, 2011, 07:42:28 PM »
The Durufle Requiem is one of my most favorite pieces.  I probably have 4-5 different recordings.  Michel Corboz is maybe my preferred but that may be because it was the first CD I ever bought.  I actually bought the CD before I had a player, but knew that I would soon be getting one and knew that this work would be the one I wanted to hear first.  Stephen Cleobury and Robert Shaw and Voices of Ascension/Dennis Keene, are others in my collection. 

I have not heard any performance of this work that I did not love.

I'll definitely checkout those recordings you mentioned. My only recording is the Robert Shaw, which doesn't use any soloists and is purely choral/orchestral. I wanted another version, preferably the version arranged for a chamber orchestra. Telarc's sound is great, but I wanted something more recent and so I bought the Matthew Best for $9, which is not a bad price for a Hyperion recording.
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Offline Mirror Image

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Re: Maurice Durufle (1902-1986)
« Reply #12 on: March 22, 2011, 07:44:31 PM »
I have never listened to Durufle. Ever.


<a href="http://www.youtube.com/v/QWekKdoVOeo&amp;feature=related" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer" class="bbc_link bbc_flash_disabled new_win">http://www.youtube.com/v/QWekKdoVOeo&amp;feature=related</a>
But this is very good. Lots of soul.

Greg, I would try to get a recording of the work if you can. Nothing like hearing the work on a good stereo system. The whole work is mesmerizingly beautiful.
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Offline Mirror Image

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Re: Maurice Durufle (1902-1986)
« Reply #13 on: September 22, 2012, 07:07:36 PM »
A shame this composer has so few responses. His music is divine. I've heard a good bit of his work now. I still have to give the nod to his Requiem. One of the finest choral works I've heard. I'm going to try to acquire more performances as they all differ in sound and delivery. The last performance of Requiem I bought was Matthew Best's recording on Hyperion but the other day I bought this one on Delos:



If anyone owns this recording and has heard it, I'd appreciate some kind of input on it. All the reviews I've read have been positive with some even claiming this to be the best Durufle album in the catalog.
« Last Edit: September 22, 2012, 07:14:56 PM by Mirror Image »
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Offline vandermolen

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Re: Maurice Durufle (1902-1986)
« Reply #14 on: September 23, 2012, 12:33:21 AM »
I've just started back listening to Durufle again after a two year hiatus or so. His Requiem, which is the only work I'm familiar with in his output, is an incredibly moving composition. I dare say it rivals my other favorites: Mozart, Brahms, Faure, Berlioz, Britten, and Verdi. Anyway, I have just acquired my second recording of this work with Matthew Best conducting the English Chamber Orchestra with the Corydon Singers on Hyperion. The audio samples sounded fantastic on Hyperion's website. I can tell this is going to be a very rich, warm sounding recording. Has anyone heard this performance?

Nice to see the revival of this thread  :). Yes, I have the Hyperion CD and you wont be disappointed. The Requiem exists in different arrangements for organ and large orchestra, organ and chamber orchestra and organ only.  So, it is worth having more than one recording - at least that's my justification for OCD like behaviour.  ;D
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Offline San Antone

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Re: Maurice Durufle (1902-1986)
« Reply #15 on: September 23, 2012, 01:45:06 AM »
Nice to see the revival of this thread  :). Yes, I have the Hyperion CD and you wont be disappointed. The Requiem exists in different arrangements for organ and large orchestra, organ and chamber orchestra and organ only.  So, it is worth having more than one recording - at least that's my justification for OCD like behaviour.  ;D

I agree.   I must have a dozen or more recordings, including all of those arrangements.

This was the first I bought and still holds sentimental pride of place:



But I also like the Shaw and Cleobury recordings.  However, I have yet to hear any recording of this work that I did not enjoy.




Offline vandermolen

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Re: Maurice Durufle (1902-1986)
« Reply #16 on: September 23, 2012, 03:19:16 AM »
I don't know the Corboz or Shaw (or the Delos) versions.  Like you I have never been disappointed by any recording of this beautiful work, which seems strong enough to embrace all kinds of performances.  Below is my favourite, at the moment (although the historical Warner version is very special). I asociated Michel Legrand more with the theme music to 'Les Parapluies de Cherbourg' or to 'The Go-Between' rather that to Durufle's 'Requiem'. However, his performance has an urgency which I find very compelling.


« Last Edit: September 23, 2012, 03:22:29 AM by vandermolen »
"Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm" (Churchill).

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Offline Mirror Image

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Re: Maurice Durufle (1902-1986)
« Reply #17 on: September 23, 2012, 05:37:58 AM »
Nice to see the revival of this thread  :). Yes, I have the Hyperion CD and you wont be disappointed. The Requiem exists in different arrangements for organ and large orchestra, organ and chamber orchestra and organ only.  So, it is worth having more than one recording - at least that's my justification for OCD like behaviour.  ;D

I prefer the chamber orchestra version. This particular version is the one Durufle preferred himself. I'll probably seek out Durufle's own recording of it on Erato, but can easily be bought as an Apex reissue.
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Online TheGSMoeller

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Re: Maurice Durufle (1902-1986)
« Reply #18 on: May 08, 2013, 02:57:26 PM »
Can someone give me good recorded examples of the different versions of his Requiem?

Thank you in advance.  :)

Offline vandermolen

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Re: Maurice Durufle (1902-1986)
« Reply #19 on: December 12, 2016, 02:35:32 AM »
This is a wonderful new recording of Durufle's moving 'Requiem' from 1947. It is now my favourite recording, and I have many of this work. Michel Legrand's and the composer's own version are my previous favourites. I also prefer this version for a small orchestra, organ, choir and mezzo-soprano. The coupling is wonderful too - the Mass 'Cum Jubilo' - my second favourite work of Durufle's along with the Prelude and Fugue in memory of Jean Alain.

Image won't appear - here is link:
https://www.amazon.co.uk/Durufle-Requiem-Messe-Jubilo-Motets/dp/B01HSFG6E8/ref=sr_1_1?s=music&ie=UTF8&qid=1481539018&sr=1-1&keywords=durufle+requiem
« Last Edit: December 12, 2016, 02:40:16 AM by vandermolen »
"Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm" (Churchill).

'The test of a work of art is, in the end, our affection for it, not our ability to explain why it is good' (Stanley Kubrick).