Thursday, 11 January 2018

Duruflé Requiem

On this day in 1902 the French organist and composer Maurice Duruflé was born.

It's probably not a name many people know, although he wrote a Requiem mass every bit the equal of (and possibly better than) that of his more famous countryman, Gabriel Faure.

But that's not the reason I want to mark the anniversary.

Just before Christmas, a friend was killed in a road accident. He was a talented musician and a fine singer. And I remembered that, some years ago when we put on a performance of the Duruflé Requiem in Boston, he came at our invitation to sing the baritone solo.

He stayed with us, too. Repaired our curtains, in fact, when we made a complete hash of hanging them. ("No, really - I enjoy it" were his words when offering - nay, insisting - on doing so.)

He also played our very out-of-tune piano both accompanying my wife on the flute and in duets with her, the latter providing an hilarious 'Les Dawson' moment as - being blessed with perfect pitch - 'Wez' (as he was universally known) transposed at sight what he was reading, the better to match what he was hearing!

He was that good. He will be desperately, sadly missed.

Requiescat in pace.


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