French flavour to Phoenix Choir’s next programme in Eastbourne
As chairman Fiona Evans explains: “At its heart is what is recognised as a unique work of art and a masterpiece – Duruflé’s much loved requiem.
“Prior to going to conservatoire Duruflé had been immersed in sacred music and had a fascination for plainchant. His wife even said that he ‘truly had a Gregorian soul.’ The requiem took inspiration directly from the Gregorian funeral mass as well as the work of previous French composers such as Franck, Debussy, Ravel and Fauré. Duruflé’s intention was in his own words 'to reconcile, as far as possible, Gregorian rhythm…with the exigencies of modern meter.' He also took the sophisticated harmonies of the early modern school to enhance the sometimes-archaic sounding melodies. This performance will be accompanied by the organ reduction which clearly lends itself to a church setting with its colour and distinctly sacred sound.
“Given that composition for Duruflé was a slow, meticulous but exceptional process, it is perhaps not so surprising that he only published fourteen works. Over a decade after his requiem, Duruflé returned to the distinctive plainchant style in his Quatre Motets sur des thèmes grégoriens, which includes the beautiful setting of the Ubi Carita also included in the programme.
“Under the baton of Michael Fields, Phoenix and its Maastricht counterpart will again join forces with a stellar line-up for what promises to be a very special evening.”
The concert will be on Saturday, February 3 at 7.30pm at All Saints’ Church, Eastbourne. Tickets £15 (under 18s/students £5): Reid & Dean (cash only), Eastbourne Visitor Centre, Welcome Building, Compton Street, WeGotTickets.com. Retiring collection in aid of Matthew 25.
Musical director Michael has a world-wide reputation in performing, directing, teaching, composing and record producing. Although a lutenist and guitarist through his first training, his work has always involved working with singers - foremost in a 35 year duo partnership with Evelyn Tubb.