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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com

The output of fastidious French organist-composer Maurice Duruflé (1902-86) was small--fewer than a dozen works--and centers on his Requiem of 1947, of which he produced three versions: one for large orchestra, one with organ accompaniment, and the last (1961, recorded here) for organ and small ensemble. All are wonderfully crafted, and, in any of them, the piece emerges as a masterpiece in which Duruflé's admiration for Fauré's earlier example--whose layout he borrowed--is combined with an oblique and subtle conservative style that is founded on plainsong. The Corydon Singers' delicately veiled tone matches the restrained fervor of the music perfectly, and Best's direction is sensitive and replete with musicianship. Fine soloists in Thomas Allen--as ever alert to the meaning of the text--and the full-bodied Ann Murray. The later unaccompanied Four Motets (1960) also are included, but the luminous mysticism of the Requiem itself--which comes over well in the spacious acoustic of St. Jude-on-the-Hill, Hampstead, in this 1985 recording--is the main attraction. --George Hall

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