Since September 2010, this blog has recorded the journey of this middle-aged man as I attempt to listen to all the music in my CD collection. CDs revisited in their entirety from start to finish - no skipping tracks, no shuffle. CDs only - no vinyl, no tapes, no downloads. And just as CD technology (and the album format itself) becomes obsolete. I'm no music critic, just a music junkie with too much time on my hands.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Gabriel Fauré & Maurice Duruflé - Requiems (1987)

Robert Shaw conducting the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra & Chorus. Recorded in Symphony Hall, Atlanta, November 25, 1985 and May 24, 1986.

Both the Fauré Requiem, Op. 48 (1888) and the Duruflé Requiem, Op. 9 (1947) are highly regarded and the performances here are quite good.  Of the two, I prefer the ethereal, moody, Renaissance chant style of the Duruflé.  However, if I'm in the mood for classical music, I usually don't opt for French composers.  I'm also biased towards instrumental music over choral works.  And when I listen to a Requiem mass, I always pull out the incomparable Mozart work.  Sadly, therefore, there's not much need for me to own this CD.

Personal Memory Associated with this CD:  I've heard both of these pieces performed live, but I can't remember much about either performance.  When I was studying music in college, I heard the university chorus perform the work at the local Methodist church (in order to use their organ).  I liked it well enough, but probably wouldn't have attended if I hadn't needed recital credit that semester.  About the same time, my music history class had reached the late 19th century.  Serendipitously, all that happened when this recording hit the market.

In my mind, I was an emerging musical scholar [insert eyeroll here] and spent much time in the classical sections of record/CD stores in the mid to late '80s.  You remember those classical sections?  They were enclosed soundproofed rooms in the back of the store where only we elitist, snobby cognoscenti dared to tread.  In any case, it seemed that around 1987 I saw the cover of this particular CD in every store I entered.  It always called out to me, saying, "If you want to consider yourself a REAL musician, you MUST study these works.  Here you have the definitive interpretations.  It doesn't get any better than this!"  I tried to ignore the mocking as long as I could, but as you can see, it wore me down.  Strangely, as soon as I made the purchase the CD stopped talking to me, content to sit quietly on the shelf.

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