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Requiem : Work information

Maurice Duruflé ( Music, Images,)
Performed by
David Burchell (Organ), Henry Wickham (Bass), Nicholas Clapton (Counter-tenor), Choir of New College Oxford, Capricorn, Edward Higginbottom (Conductor)

This work

Work name
Work number
Op. 9
1947-01-01 02:00:00

This recording

Paul Spicer
Bob Auger
Recording date
1990-04-04 00:00:00

The Composers

Maurice Duruflé

Born in Louviers, Maurice Duruflé enrolled at the Paris Conservatoire in 1920 where he studied under Gigout, Gallon and Paul Dukas.  He wrote for and performed extensively on the organ and in 1947 wrote his most famous work, the Requiem.  Influenced by Gabriel Fauré's work, Duruflé spurned the melodramatic tone audiences had come to expect from a requiem - following on from Fauré he gave the work an ethereal, distant feel influenced by Gregorian chant and modal harmony.

Duruflé deputised for Louis Vierne at Notre-Dame de Paris and was so enamored of his playing that he transcribed many of Vierne's improvisations for posterity, something he also did for his teacher Tournemire.  A methodical composer, Duruflé has not written prolifically.  However, what he has written is of consistent excellence.

Track listing

  • Introit & Kyrie 7:01 min
  • Domine Jesu Christe 8:13 min
  • Sanctus 3:05 min
  • Pie Jesu 3:31 min
  • Agnus Dei 4:09 min
  • Lux aeterna 3:34 min
  • Liberma me 5:35 min
  • In Paradisum 2:48 min


Commissioned by the French publishers Durand in 1947, Durufle's Requiem is the composer's most popular work. Making extensive use of Gregorian chant melody and rhythms, it is the equal of Faure's masterful Requiem, and in its evocation of struggle and hope, it is a poignant and moving contribution to the genre.

Durufle provided several versions of the Requiem, but the largest arrangement, a particularly colourful one for full orchestra and organ, was the composer's favourite.