Notes and Editorial Reviews
Ivan Repusic, the new chief conductor of the Munich Rundfunkorchester, devotes his first album on BR-Klassik to works by the composers Maurice Durufle and Ottorino Respighi, both of whom took a major interest in the melodies and harmonies of Gregorian chant. The French composer Durufle’s “Requiem” is based on the Gregorian “Missa pro defunctis,” the Latin Mass for the Dead, and the Italian Respighi, in his “Concerto Gregoriano,” used Gregorian chant as a source of inspiration for the harmonious sound of the concerto and for the song-like treatment he gives to the solo violin. Maurice Durufle’s “Requiem” became especially well-known. Its first performance in 1947 was one of the high points of his career; the work not only helped to establish Durufle as a successful composer but also brought him fame far beyond the borders of France. This self-contained, homogeneous and contemplative composition is based on themes from the Gregorian Mass for the Dead. In his work, Durufle succeeded in fusing Gregorian chant, Baroque polyphony and colorful orchestration into a unified whole, and the spiritual, inward-looking character of the chants harmonizes most effectively with the composer’s personal style.