Houston Chamber Choir, Ken Cowan, Robert Simpson Duruflé : Complete Choral WorksPromotion

Duruflé : Complete Choral Works

Houston Chamber Choir, Ken Cowan, Robert Simpson

Released on April 5, 2019 by Signum Records

Main artist: Houston Chamber Choir

Genre: Classical > Sacred Vocal Music > Masses, Passions, Requiems

Distinctions: Qobuzissime ( April 2019)

Includes: 1 Digital booklet

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This spectacular new release of Maurice Duruflé’s complete choral output uncovers hidden gems of French classical music.

Infused with modal harmonies and plainsong, Maurice Duruflé's choral works look back to Gregorian chant. The composer also found inspiration in the likes of Gabriel Fauré and Claude Debussy, incorporating definite lines and close harmonies into his music, and the result is astonishingly simple. His works were part of a whole stylistic movement in the 20th century (one that was far removed from neoclassicism) that tried to trace music back to its origins, separating itself from all the trappings of theatre and performance, and moving away from the highly abstract tendencies that characterised much of the music in the post-war period.

Is Gregorian chant the “mother” of all music? Quite possibly. Duruflé aimed to create a serene, gentle mood all the while echoing a contemporary trend, one that was still emerging yet already rather developed, centred around harmony and floating atmospheres in the hope of bringing people together in communion.

With little to show by way of recordings yet much by way of talent, the Houston Chamber Choir give a beautiful performance of the French composer's works. Their radiant singing is well worth discovering, made all the more breathtaking by the generous acoustics of the Edythe Bates Old Recital Hall at Rice University, which allow the conductor Robert Simpson to use broad phrasings. The conductor adds an especially touching quality to these naturally expressive works, making this recording – which is as moving as the composer's earlier recordings (Erato) - an ideal gateway into Duruflé’s hypnotic universe (Messe “Cum Jubilo”).

It should be noted that despite his relatively long life, Duruflé’s composed only fourteen works. His final composition Notre Père (which lasts just ninety seconds!) was written especially for the Catholic Church though was never performed due to its sheer difficulty. This modest number of compositions reflects Duruflé’s crippling self-criticism and continuous search for perfection. This Houston Chamber Choir recording is a wonderful opportunity to rediscover one of the best kept secrets of the 20th century. © Qobuz

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Album : 1 disk - 19 tracks Total length : 01:08:29

    Messe “Cum Jubilo” pour chœur de barytons et orgue, Op. 11 (Maurice Duruflé)
  1. 1 I. Kyrie

    Houston Chamber Choir - Ken Cowan, Organ - Robert Simpson, Conductor - Maurice Duruflé, Composer - Durand, MusicPublisher - Blanton Alspaugh, Producer Copyright : © 2019 Signum Records - ℗ 2019 Signum Records

  2. 2 II. Gloria

    Eduardo Tercero, Tenor - Houston Chamber Choir - Ken Cowan, Organ - Robert Simpson, Conductor - Maurice Duruflé, Composer - Durand, MusicPublisher - Blanton Alspaugh, Producer Copyright : © 2019 Signum Records - ℗ 2019 Signum Records

  3. 3 III. Sanctus

    Houston Chamber Choir - Ken Cowan, Organ - Robert Simpson, Conductor - Maurice Duruflé, Composer - Durand, MusicPublisher - Blanton Alspaugh, Producer Copyright : © 2019 Signum Records - ℗ 2019 Signum Records

  4. 4 IV. Benedictus

    Eduardo Tercero, Tenor - Houston Chamber Choir - Ken Cowan, Organ - Robert Simpson, Conductor - Maurice Duruflé, Composer - Durand, MusicPublisher - Blanton Alspaugh, Producer Copyright : © 2019 Signum Records - ℗ 2019 Signum Records

  5. 5 V. Agnus dei

    Houston Chamber Choir - Ken Cowan, Organ - Robert Simpson, Conductor - Maurice Duruflé, Composer - Durand, MusicPublisher - Blanton Alspaugh, Producer Copyright : © 2019 Signum Records - ℗ 2019 Signum Records

  6. Quatre Motets sur des thèmes grégoriens pour chœur a cappella, Op. 10
  7. 6 I. Ubi caritas

    Houston Chamber Choir - Robert Simpson, Conductor - Maurice Duruflé, Composer - Durand, MusicPublisher - Blanton Alspaugh, Producer Copyright : © 2019 Signum Records - ℗ 2019 Signum Records

  8. 7 II. Tota pulchra es

    Houston Chamber Choir - Robert Simpson, Conductor - Maurice Duruflé, Composer - Durand, MusicPublisher - Blanton Alspaugh, Producer Copyright : © 2019 Signum Records - ℗ 2019 Signum Records

  9. 8 III. Tu es Petrus

    Houston Chamber Choir - Robert Simpson, Conductor - Maurice Duruflé, Composer - Durand, MusicPublisher - Blanton Alspaugh, Producer Copyright : © 2019 Signum Records - ℗ 2019 Signum Records

  10. 9 IV. Tantum ergo

    Houston Chamber Choir - Robert Simpson, Conductor - Maurice Duruflé, Composer - Durand, MusicPublisher - Blanton Alspaugh, Producer Copyright : © 2019 Signum Records - ℗ 2019 Signum Records

  11. Notre Père pour chœur a cappella
  12. 10 Notre Père pour chœur a cappella

    Houston Chamber Choir - Robert Simpson, Conductor - Maurice Duruflé, Composer - Durand, MusicPublisher - Blanton Alspaugh, Producer Copyright : © 2019 Signum Records - ℗ 2019 Signum Records

  13. Requiem pour soli, chœurs et orgue, Op. 9
  14. 11 I. Introit

    Houston Chamber Choir - Ken Cowan, Organ - Robert Simpson, Conductor - Maurice Duruflé, Composer - Durand, MusicPublisher - Blanton Alspaugh, Producer Copyright : © 2019 Signum Records - ℗ 2019 Signum Records

  15. 12 II. Kyrie

    Houston Chamber Choir - Ken Cowan, Organ - Robert Simpson, Conductor - Maurice Duruflé, Composer - Durand, MusicPublisher - Blanton Alspaugh, Producer Copyright : © 2019 Signum Records - ℗ 2019 Signum Records

  16. 13 III. Domine Jesu Christe

    Houston Chamber Choir - Ken Cowan, Organ - Robert Simpson, Conductor - Maurice Duruflé, Composer - Durand, MusicPublisher - Blanton Alspaugh, Producer Copyright : © 2019 Signum Records - ℗ 2019 Signum Records

  17. 14 IV. Sanctus & Benedictus

    Houston Chamber Choir - Ken Cowan, Organ - Robert Simpson, Conductor - Maurice Duruflé, Composer - Durand, MusicPublisher - Blanton Alspaugh, Producer Copyright : © 2019 Signum Records - ℗ 2019 Signum Records

  18. 15 V. Pie Jesu

    Cecilia Duarte, Mezzo-Soprano - Houston Chamber Choir - Norman Fischer, Cello - Ken Cowan, Organ - Robert Simpson, Conductor - Maurice Duruflé, Composer - Durand, MusicPublisher - Blanton Alspaugh, Producer Copyright : © 2019 Signum Records - ℗ 2019 Signum Records

  19. 16 VI. Agnus Dei

    Houston Chamber Choir - Ken Cowan, Organ - Robert Simpson, Conductor - Maurice Duruflé, Composer - Durand, MusicPublisher - Blanton Alspaugh, Producer Copyright : © 2019 Signum Records - ℗ 2019 Signum Records

  20. 17 VII. Lux aeterna

    Houston Chamber Choir - Ken Cowan, Organ - Robert Simpson, Conductor - Maurice Duruflé, Composer - Durand, MusicPublisher - Blanton Alspaugh, Producer Copyright : © 2019 Signum Records - ℗ 2019 Signum Records

  21. 18 VIII. Libera me

    Houston Chamber Choir - Ken Cowan, Organ - Robert Simpson, Conductor - Maurice Duruflé, Composer - Durand, MusicPublisher - Blanton Alspaugh, Producer Copyright : © 2019 Signum Records - ℗ 2019 Signum Records

  22. 19 IX. In Paradisum

    Houston Chamber Choir - Ken Cowan, Organ - Robert Simpson, Conductor - Maurice Duruflé, Composer - Durand, MusicPublisher - Blanton Alspaugh, Producer Copyright : © 2019 Signum Records - ℗ 2019 Signum Records

  • Album description
  • This spectacular new release of Maurice Duruflé’s complete choral output uncovers hidden gems of French classical music.

    Infused with modal harmonies and plainsong, Maurice Duruflé's choral works look back to Gregorian chant. The composer also found inspiration in the likes of Gabriel Fauré and Claude Debussy, incorporating definite lines and close harmonies into his music, and the result is astonishingly simple. His works were part of a whole stylistic movement in the 20th century (one that was far removed from neoclassicism) that tried to trace music back to its origins, separating itself from all the trappings of theatre and performance, and moving away from the highly abstract tendencies that characterised much of the music in the post-war period.

    Is Gregorian chant the “mother” of all music? Quite possibly. Duruflé aimed to create a serene, gentle mood all the while echoing a contemporary trend, one that was still emerging yet already rather developed, centred around harmony and floating atmospheres in the hope of bringing people together in communion.

    With little to show by way of recordings yet much by way of talent, the Houston Chamber Choir give a beautiful performance of the French composer's works. Their radiant singing is well worth discovering, made all the more breathtaking by the generous acoustics of the Edythe Bates Old Recital Hall at Rice University, which allow the conductor Robert Simpson to use broad phrasings. The conductor adds an especially touching quality to these naturally expressive works, making this recording – which is as moving as the composer's earlier recordings (Erato) - an ideal gateway into Duruflé’s hypnotic universe (Messe “Cum Jubilo”).

    It should be noted that despite his relatively long life, Duruflé’s composed only fourteen works. His final composition Notre Père (which lasts just ninety seconds!) was written especially for the Catholic Church though was never performed due to its sheer difficulty. This modest number of compositions reflects Duruflé’s crippling self-criticism and continuous search for perfection. This Houston Chamber Choir recording is a wonderful opportunity to rediscover one of the best kept secrets of the 20th century. © Qobuz

Details of original recording:

Recorded at The Edythe Bates Old Recital Hall and Grand Organ, Rice University, USA from 13th to 16th June 2017

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Signum Records

Signum Records is fuelled by the passion to produce great music recorded with integrity and creativity at the highest level. Signum is a privately-owned and steadily-growing record label that benefits from the commitment and services of its sister company, Floating Earth, the leading production and engineering specialist service provider in Europe. Having started the label in 1997 Signum now boasts a catalogue of over 400 titles and many of which are award winners, nominees or five star review recipients from around the world. The small Signum team strives to provide a first class service at all times with clients, artists, suppliers and colleagues. Signum works wit...

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