Duruflé & Fauré Requiems

St Martin in the Fields, October 2007

The Organ – November 2007

A popular programme but none-the-less admirably well performed. The gentle conservatism of Durufle’s Quatre motets sur des themes gregoriennes made for a warm and supportive opening item, the unaccompanied voices blending effortlessly in the close acoustic. If Durufle’s Requiem was not quite as effective this was partly the problem of balance. Stephen Farr’s organ playing could not be faulted in terms of registration but even half way down the nave it often seemed too loud and tended to drown out the singers. A pity as they were in particularly good voice with the sopranos holding the high lying part with ease. After the interval came Faure, with the Cantique de Jean Racine and the Requiem. As easy on the ear as the first half had been, I felt, with the live candles around the walls, that we were starting the inevitable lurch towards Christmas.

Brian Hicks

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