San Francisco Choral Society Performs Durufle's "Requiem"
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The last date listed for Durufle's "Requiem" was Saturday August 5, 2006 / 8:00pm.
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San Francisco Symphony Concertmaster Alexander Barantschik leads the orchestra in an irresistible program featuring works by Mozart, Mendelssohn, Britten and Piazzolla. Following a lovely early Mozart Divertimento, Barantschik takes center stage in Mendelssohn's D minor Violin Concerto, one of the Romantic master's finest creations and a delightful surprise for concertgoers who only know its more famous sibling. Britten's gorgeous Simple Symphony salutes the composer's centenary, and the program concludes with the sultry music of another 20th-century master: Argentine composer Astor Piazzolla, the "King of Nuevo Tango." Inside Music, an informative talk with Laura Stanfield Prichard, begins one hour prior to the concert. Learn More
From his days as a choirboy to his burial in 1986, Maurice Durufle was immersed in chant, surrounding himself with the style suitable to the Gregorian changes as well as the rhythmic interpretation of the Benedictines of Solesmes. Completed in 1947, not long after World War II and the liberation of German-occupied Paris, his Requiem is based entirely on the Gregorian themes from the Mass for the Dead, juxtaposed with an Impressionistic orchestral accompaniment. Durufle choose a retrospective stance, looking to plainsong for his inspiration, and to great French composers-Debussy, Ravel, Faure and Paul Dukas (with whom he studied at the Paris Conservatory)-for his models. The orchestra parts are full of techniques and sonorities derived from these composers and particularly perhaps Ravel, whose music also exerted an influence on Durufle in his early years. He is impressionistic in his use of form, harmony, rhythm, orchestration and registration. The main achievement of his Requiem is that it made Gregorian chant luxurious with his language of rich nontraditional harmony and colorful, indulgent orchestration.