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Durufle Requiem

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  • laurie483000
    I became familiar with this work only in the last few years, as it was included on the same disc as the rather nice sounding Telarc Faure Requiem. Never heard
    Message 1 of 1 , Jun 6, 2014
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      I became familiar with this work only in the last few years, as it was included on the same disc as the rather nice sounding Telarc Faure Requiem.  Never heard it live, till we went to an amateur performance late last autumn in Enfield (North London) which a friend was singing in.  The venue did it no favours, a horribly gloomy large squarish in plan Victorian church with iffy acoustics and very cold, but that's just in passing.  Another downside to the concert was the organ that was too prominent - even though he'd been sat upon after the last rehearsal and the volume turned down.


      I was quite surprised by how different this concert was from orchestral + organ version on Telarc  - for instance there were soloists in but only an organ and cello.  Reading up afterwards I see that Durufle, a contemporary of Britten, actually did 3 versions.


      However the point of writing was to say I've come across a CD of this version on Signum Classics SIGCD 163 recorded 2009.  The organ is very much in evidence here too, goes down very deep and just slightly too much in quantity (particularly it's pulsating nature at the start of the work) though not as bad as at the concert and I can happily live with that.  The choir is rather well captured - slightly better even than on Telarc I reckon.  The Mezzo and Cello are too prominent, but the baritone is to my mind just right in distance from the mic.  However I find that after playing this work it's nice to calm the ear drums down, with the battering they receive from the healthy organ bass, so I now finish off with the first of the 4 Durufle Motets (Gregorian) that are also on the disc - not a great fan of unaccompanied singing generally, but this 1st motet is nice.


      The disc is an interesting contrast to the Telarc one - slightly greater clarity probably due to the smaller forces involved but I like both discs so the Signum one is highly recommended along with the Telarc, even if both a little less than perfect here and there in recording technique.  Best to turn the volume down a notch or two though on the Signum - turn it up on the Telarc.  Lovely dreamy atmospheric very French sounding music.

      There was talk a day or so about the importance or not of extreme bass in speakers.  This is one of those cases where you want it.




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