A Celebration of All Souls
The Requiem of Maurice Duruflé
On November 2, at 5pm, The Redeemer will offer a service for All Souls featuring the Requiem of Maurice Duruflé, orchestrated for chorus, mezzo-soprano, baritone, string orchestra, harp, organ and timpani (sans brass).
Throughout the Church Year, we pray regularly for the departed. All Souls Day, however, is designated as the solemn day when the Church specifically commemorates the faithful departed through prayer, Requiem services, and memorial offerings. The earliest known Eucharist in which the dead were celebrated dates back to the late Second Century. The Requiem mass, and chants associated with it, flourished between the Tenth and Fourteenth centuries. Today we have over 105 chants linked with the Requiem: the sum of regional liturgies and formerly-known chant melodies. At The Redeemer we honor this feast day in the evening on All Saints Sunday, offerings prayers, and special music in the form of a Requiem mass.
Maurice Duruflé (1902-1986) was a French composer, organist and teacher. His training began at 10, when he became a chorister at the Rouen Cathedral Choir School. At 17 Duruflé moved to Paris where he studied organ with Charles Tournemiere, worked with Louis Vierne at Notre Dame Cathedral as assistant organist, and finally took a full time position as organist at St-Étienne-du-Mont.
Duruflé grew up listening to, and absorbing, music of the church rather than that of the concert hall; however he was also exposed to the contemporarily popular music of Ravel and Debussy, two impressionistic composers who, as Duruflé, himself confessed, deeply influenced him. His Requiem is unique, as it stays true to the ancient chants of the Requiem mass while pairing with it early 20th-century harmonies and romantic tonal language, offering a beautiful and unique juxtaposition of both ancient and modern together. In Duruflé own words, the Requiem “represents the idea of peace, of faith and of hope”.
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Click here for a press release for All Souls.