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Sacre Coeur: Sacred Music of Beloved French Composers

Sacre Coeur: Sacred Music of Beloved French Composers

Saturday, March 17, 2018 7:30PM
St. Francis UMC
2965 Kildare Farm Rd, Cary

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Nathan Leaf, Conductor
Josh Dumbleton, Organ
Kathryn Mueller, Soprano
David Faircloth, Baritone
Mallarmé Chamber Players

France has given the world some of its finest choral composers, including the three whose works we’re performing at this concert.

The Symphonic Choir and Chamber Choir perform:

  • Faure: Requiem
  • Durufle: Messe cum Jubilo
  • Poulenc: Litanies a la Vierge Noire

These pieces display the range of French sacred music in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, and feature beautiful, inspiring harmonies.

Concert Singers of Cary Introduce Audiences to French Composers

ABOUT FAURE’S REQUIEM:

Of the many settings of the Requiem, this is probably the most widely loved. In comparison with the large-scale works of Verdi, Brahms and Berlioz, Faure’s setting is gentle and unassuming,

Even though he was a renowned organist at the Church of the Madeleine in Paris, Faure was an agnostic. His Requiem focuses less on liturgical texts and is, as he wrote, “dominated from beginning to end by a very human feeling of faith in eternal rest.”

Faure composed the piece in 1886, after the death of his father, and published a revised version with orchestration in 1900. The piece was performed at his own memorial service in 1924.

The Fauré Requiem with which modern audiences are most familiar may not in fact have been written by Fauré, according to British composer and conductor John Rutter.

Since its premiere in Paris in 1888, the Requiem has been heard in three versions, the last of which made its debut in 1900 and remains the best known today. According to Rutter, that version includes “curious” revisions that suggest they were added by someone besides Fauré.

CSC is performing Rutter’s reconstruction of the 1893 version of Requiem. It uses a chamber ensemble rather than full orchestra and, according to Rutter, most faithfully conforms to the composer’s intentions.

(Credit: New York Times article, 1988)

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    Some images courtesy of Denny Colvin