Here are links to listen to the Durufle Requiem performance:

  • Durufle: Requiem - Performance by the Warsaw Philharmonic Orchestra and Choir.
  • The following is the same performance with links to the begining of each section (click on the numbers).
  • Durufle: Requiem - Performance by a French orchestra (Orchestre de la Cité) and French choir (Michel Piquemal Vocal Ensemble). This video displays the full music score page by page. You can follow the score to see what the orchestra and choir are performing. (See below for some interesting information about Maurice Durufle and this performance of his Requiem.)
  • The following is the same performance with links to the begining of each section (click on the numbers).
  • Durufle: Requiem - Another nice performance by the Choir of King's College, Cambridge. 
  • The following is the same performance with links to the begining of each section (click on the numbers).
  • Donizetti: Chorus of the Wedding Guests - performed by a Spanish Opera Chorus.
  • Verdi: Brindisi - and outdoor performance called Prom at the Palace held at Buckingham Palace Garden on June 1, 2002. The event was in commemoration of the Golden Jubilee of Elizabeth II.
  • Verdi: Brindisi - A live performance at Glyndebourne Opera House, July 2014, with the London Philharmonic Orchestra.
  • Bizet: Habanera - performed by a soloist Angela Gheorghiu and a French chorus and orchestra.
  • Verdi: Triumphal Scene - from Aida, performed by the Opera Australia Chorus and Opera Australia Orchestra.
  • Verdi: Triumphal Scene - from Aida, performed by the Metropolitan Opera.
  • Verdi: Triumphal Scene - from Aida, performed at the Lund International Choral Festival 2010 in Sweden with 476 singers and 60 musicians.

Some interesting information about Maurice Durufle and the Requiem copied from the above French youtube performance page.

In 1947, Maurice Duruflé was already working on a suite of pieces for organ based on the Gregorian chants for the requiem mass (the service for the dead), when he was commissioned by his publisher Durand to write a large-scale work based on those texts. The resulting Requiem, originally for orchestra and chorus, is the culmination of Duruflé's style, mixing chant, quasi-Renaissance counterpoint, and sumptuous harmony derived from Fauré, Debussy, and Ravel.

Duruflé made three versions of this work; the final one, completed in 1961, is for choir, string orchestra, trumpets, and organ; it is the most practical and the most commonly used (also in this recording). He used the same text as Fauré had done in his Requiem of 1889, omitting the Dies Irae [Day of Wrath] section which, although it provided some of the most spectacular music in the Mozart, Berlioz, and Verdi settings, was not compatible with the gentler, more reassuring tone of the work. This peaceful quality is in many ways simply a reflection of the Requiem's indebtedness to Gregorian chant, the flowing, easy quality of which serves as a musical template for many of the movements (chant formed a large part of Duruflé's musical upbringing: from 1912 to 1918 he was a boy chorister at the cathedral in Rouen, where the services were almost entirely chanted, and his professional education was at the Paris Conservatoire, where harmonizing chant melodies was a large part of the training for organists). Duruflé presents the chants quite clearly, much as in his Four Motets on Gregorian themes. The serene mood is enhanced by pervasive imitative counterpoint in a quasi-Renaissance melodic style. There is often a similarity of sound between Duruflé's music and that of Vaughan Williams, who briefly studied in France and also used modal melodies and counterpoint, though for him these archaic-sounding techniques were inspired by English folk music and the composers of the Tudor era. With Duruflé, the modal counterpoint is supported by rich, and very French, added-note harmonies.

Duruflé's grounding in the past is evident throughout the Requiem. The opening movement, one of the most beautiful in twentieth century music, sets a mood for the rest of the piece: running sixteenths (a favorite device of Duruflé's) create a wash of sound, preparing the entrance of the tenors and basses intoning the requiem chant, soon accompanied by a wordless vocalise from the women's voices. The original chant melodies are present in many of the movements; a striking instance is the Kyrie, where the trumpets sound the chant melody in long notes over a busy contrapuntal texture in the choir (which in turn is based on a rhythmicized version of the chant). The effect is similar to that of Bach's famous cantus firmus cantata opening movements -- Wachet Auf and Ein' feste Burg are good examples. Another striking section is the Pie Jesu, which Duruflé sets in a style very similar to Fauré, with a mezzo-soprano solo accompanied only by organ and cello; unfortunately the soloist in this recording sounds a bit bloated. In the final movement, In Paradisum, the sopranos, supported by full chords in the strings, sing the incantatory chant promising the deceased a peaceful welcome into heaven. At the words "chorus angelorum te suscipiat" [May the choir of angels receive you], the other singers enter with a beautiful, slowly descending passage to end the work. Duruflé's wife has said that while composing his Requiem, which is dedicated to the memory of his father, Duruflé "cried several times"; it is indeed one of the most moving religious works of the twentieth century.

Problems or Questions?
If you have any problems or questions you may email me (Paul Fretz) at paulfretz@gmail.com