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February 4th, 2014 - Excellent Reviews of Complete Choral and Organ Works of Maurice Duruflé
Excellent Reviews of Complete Choral and Organ Works of Maurice Duruflé

Gramophone Magazine (February 2014) - "Leeds Cathedral Choir...bright tone and honest, natural singing deliver very accomplished and satisfying performances. The choir are ably supported by the splendid accompaniments of the Skipton Camerata and organists Benjamin Saunders and Daniel Justin. It's faithfully captured by the excellent recording... an enjoyable and rewarding two-CD set." 

The Organ Magazine (February 2014) - "This is such a successful and inherently excellent idea that one is surprised that no French company has thought of it before. Durufle was more than a 'one-hit' composer, although his Requiem remains one of the best and most frequently performed of all such 20th-century works; to have his complete choral and solo organ music on just two CDs is a most effective combination, especially in such good performances as these."

Sacrées Musique, Radio France (January 2014) - The French national Radio station have labeled the new recording by Leeds Cathedral Choir as their disk of the week  ‘Le disque coup de coeur de la semaine.' 

The Cathedral Choirs have recorded a new double CD of music by Maurice Duruflé, one of the most important Catholic composers of the Twentieth Century. Thomas Leech directs the Cathedral Choirs accompanied by the Skipton Camerata Orchestra and organists Daniel Justin and Benjamin Saunders. The solo works are played by Adriano Falcioni, organist of Perugia Cathedral.The disk is available directly from the Music Office, and is released with international distribution on the Brilliant Classics label.

The Requiem is recorded in the composer’s preferred version for organ and reduced orchestration. These two disks present the heart of the small, carefully-wrought oeuvre of a French composer whose name became a byword for compositional fastidiousness no less than that of his compatriots Ravel and Dutilleux. They of course wrote no sacred music whereas Maurice Duruflé was a devout Catholic, who regarded his art as at the service of the Church and composed almost no secular music beyond a set of three orchestral dances of refined instrumental colour and rhythmic sophistication. Indeed, it was his talents as an orchestrator that have led some to prefer the full-orchestra version the Requiem over the version for choir and organ alone which has more obvious liturgical possibilities. Here, however, we have the opportunity to hear another version: that for reduced orchestra and organ, which undoubtedly forms one of the highlights of this release, recordings of it being far and few between. The Requiem is followed by a selection of pieces that make up the rest of the composer's output for choir and organ - these include the four beautiful unaccompanied motets, works for which plainchant was again a source of inspiration.



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