Duruflé : Requiem
November 4, 2017 7.30pm
All Saints’ Anglican Cathedral
Richard Eaton Singers
Leonard Ratzlaff, conductor
Jeremy Spurgeon, organ
Leanne Regehr, piano
Sara Staples, mezzo soprano
Michael Kurshat, baritone
Katherine Pernal, cello
The organ version of Duruflé Requiem is a beautiful work, based on Gregorian chant themes, music that the choir loves to perform! The second half of the program will include a variety of pieces with piano, organ and a cappella.
Richard Eaton Singers has had the privilege of singing three of the signature settings of the Requiem text in recent years: Verdi in 2009, Fauré in 2013, and Mozart in 2016. RES last performed Duruflé in the early eighties.
Maurice Duruflé (1902-1986), a French organist and composer, might well be thought of as a “man of few words” when thinking of his compositional output, as he only has 13 opus numbers to his name. Requiem is Opus 9.
For this beautiful setting Duruflé drew almost exclusively on Gregorian chant for his melodic inspiration, with both direct quotes from the chant tradition as well as melodic variants of chant melodies. It bears some similarities to Fauré’s setting, but in other ways it is much more adventurous both in harmonic content and its use of the chorus for dramatic purpose.
The second half of the concert will comprise:
- Rudolf Tobias Two Sacred Songs for chorus and organ sung in Estonian.
- Tobias is an Estonian composer whose life spanned the turn of the previous century (1873-1918). This performance of these remarkable settings (of I Corinthians 3:16 and a few verses from Psalm 42) may well be a Canadian premiere.
- John Ireland Greater Love Hath No Man for chorus and organ
- Born six years after Tobias, British composer Ireland lived a considerably longer life to 1962.
- Johannes Brahms Opus 28 duets for piano and soloists
- Elaine Hagenberg The Music of Stillness for chorus and piano
- A setting of poet Sara Teasdale’s There Will Be Rest. Hagenberg is a young Iowa composer
- Paul Mealor Wherever You Are
- Welsh composer Paul Mealor has, since his iconic setting of Ubi Caritas for the wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton, emerged as one of the most prominent composers of choral music.
- Jonathan Dove Come, You Who are Blessed
- A setting of Jesus’ words in Matthew 25:34-36
- British composer Jonathan Dove has a most distinctive and refreshing musical language, with exciting harmonies and choral phrases accompanied by a highly energized organ part – a great end to this concert!