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Hyperion Records

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Track(s) taken from CDA66757
Recording details: July 1994
Westminster Cathedral, London, United Kingdom
Release date: March 1995
Total duration: 19 minutes 59 seconds

'O'Donnell's achievement becomes the reference point against which future recordings of this repertoire are measured' (Choir & Organ)

'The Westminster Cathedral boys and men carry the lyricism and harmonic luxuriance to an ethereal plane. The choral singing is superb … helping one to bathe in Duruflé's sumptuous ideas' (The Daily Telegraph)

Messe Cum jubilo, Op 11
composer
author of text
Ordinary of the Mass

Kyrie  [3'40] GreekEnglish
Gloria  [5'33] LatinEnglish

Introduction  EnglishFrançaisDeutsch
The Mass ‘Cum jubilo’ suggests more forcefully than does the Requiem the distaste Duruflé felt for ‘excessive’ settings of the text such as had been favoured during the preceding decades. Here only the lower voices from the choir are used and these voices present the text in unison. There are just two short solo sections: in the Gloria at the words ‘Domine fili …’ and in the Benedictus. The comparable work by Fauré is the Messe Basse but even this allows the choir (of two equal-pitch parts for high voices) to sing harmony. Duruflé’s use of plainsong themes is at once apparent but again these are used with a subtlety which belies their underlying simplicity. The organ part contributes to this effect. The flourish which announces the Gloria marks the key moment for the glory of God to be celebrated in the Mass while, by contrast, the accompaniment to the closing movements—the Sanctus, Benedictus and Agnus Dei, which complement the act of communion itself—suggests an atmosphere of ethereal journeying and a more detached wonder at the divine presence. This is music for the Catholic Mass at its most practical level, but also at its most beautiful.

from notes by Wadham Sutton © 1989

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