Faure / Durufle: Requiems

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Faure / Durufle: Requiems
Janet Baker (mezzo) Stephen Roberts (baritone) Robert Chilcott (treble) / King's College Choir Cambridge, Sir Philip Ledger, Sir David Willcocks

[ Warner Classics Masters / CD ]

Release Date: Monday 3 September 2012

"Since the advent of the compact disc, the Requiem in D minor, Op. 48, of Gabriel Fauré and the Requiem, Op. 9, of Maurice Duruflé have frequently been paired, not only because they neatly fit the running time, but also because they are complementary pieces. Both reflect a gentle, humanistic view of death in the choice of benign texts from the Missa pro defunctis and include prayers from the burial rite Libera Me and In Paradisum. Fauré and Duruflé also omitted the sequence Dies Irae, with its stark imagery and frightening depiction of the Last Judgment. Musically, Fauré's Requiem had a profound influence on Duruflé, and both works have a calm tone of consolation, as opposed to the more theatrical effects found in Requiems by Cherubini, Berlioz, or Verdi. Among classic performances, the recordings by the Choir of King's College, Cambridge, on EMI are easy to recommend, and the interpretations by conductors David Willcocks and Philip Ledger are widely recognized as sensitive and subtle. This album includes a recording of Fauré's popular Pavane as a filler piece between the Requiems, and this purely instrumental piece almost serves as an intermission, made necessary because the religious expressions of these masterpieces are deeply moving and a brief secular break is perhaps welcome. Even though the two Fauré recordings were made in 1967 and the Duruflé in 1980, the ADD sound of this album is clean and focused, and most details are plainly audible." (Allmusic.com)

"As you might expect, King's College Choir is once again top of the league. The Pie Jesu is sung by Janet Baker [Durufle], whose mezzo is appropriately doleful in the lower registers, and hair-raisingly expressive during the higher notes of the extended climax. Just hear how, with genuine feeling and emotion, the intonation of her voice ever so slightly rises to meet the enharmonic progression in the accompaniment between 1:34 and 1:35. When I first heard this on a radio broadcast very many years ago my jaw hit the floor, and it still brings a lump to my throat every time - a true desert island movement." MusicWeb

"This is the Faure Requiem to come home to. Its original reviewer in Gramophone was Alec Robertson, who declared that it had provided him with a very rare professional experience, the chance ''to describe a recording as near as can be to absolute perfection from start to finish''. A quarter of a century has passed, and the catalogue now has 25 other recordings currently available: many are fine, but this one has still not been overtaken on its own ground.
Willcocks neither sentimentalizes nor hurries; the choir (especially in respect of its tenors) is on top form; Robert Chilcott sings the Pie Jesu with the most touchingly beautiful purity and control" Gramophone'


Requiem, Op. 9
Janet Baker (mezzo-soprano), Stephen Roberts (baritone), Timothy Hugh (cello) & John Butt (organ)

Requiem, Op. 48
Robert Chilcott (treble), John Carol Case (baritone) & John Wells (organ)

Pavane, Op. 50
Gareth Morris (flute)