On Sunday, November 6, St. Paul’s will mark the Feast of All Saints with a 4 pm service featuring Maurice Duruflé’s Requiem sung by St. Paul’s Choir, with chamber orchestra, directed by Dr. Paolo Bordignon.
All Saints’ Day is a principal feast of the church year, celebrating all Christians and the spiritual bond between the living and those in heaven. Together with All Souls (the following day), it is the church’s principal feast of commemoration of the departed. At St. Paul’s, this service has come to hold a special place for so many, some drawn by a searching heart, others simply by the healing beauty of the liturgy.
The service will feature Maurice Duruflé’s Requiem, Op.9 , scored for SATB choir, mezzo-soprano and baritone soloists, organ, string orchestra, trumpets, harp, and timpani. Sarah Bannon and Elliott Hines are the vocal soloists and St. Paul’s Organ Scholar Bryan Anderson will serve as organist. The St. Paul's Chamber Music Society has generously underwritten the chamber orchestra.
Although Duruflé enjoyed a full life (1902-1986) and highly productive career as a church organist, recitalist, recording artist, arranger, and teacher, his compositions are few. He was fiercely self-critical of his original compositions and signed his name to only 14 opus numbers. Since its 1947 premiere, broadcast over Radio France, the Requiem has been hailed Duruflé’s masterpiece and has justly earned praise as one of the greatest choral works of the twentieth century. Various admirers have described his impressionistic writing as, “softly luminous, sumptuous, suffused with a tender radiance, of a noble and restrained eloquence and a sweet and serene light, a work of scrupulous craft and exquisite sensibility, having beautiful unity and real grandeur.”