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Calvary Presbyterian Church
2515 Fillmore Street San Francisco, CA 94115
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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.

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