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Quatre motets sur des thèmes grégoriens, Op 10

composer
1960
author of text
No 1: Antiphon for Maundy Thursday; No 2: Antiphon on the Feast of the Immaculate Conception; No 3: after Matthew 16: 18; No 4: from Pange Lingua by St Thomas Aquinas

 
Duruflé dedicated these four short motets to Auguste Le Guennant, the director of the Gregorian Institute in Paris. All four of them are based on melodies from the Benedictine monastery of Solesmes, which issued the official, most widely recognized edition of Gregorian chant. The texts for the first three motets are antiphons taken from the liturgies of the mass or Vesper services, while the closing 'Tantum ergo' is from the hymn, 'Pange lingua gloriosa', set to a text originally composed by St Thomas Aquinas for the Feast of Corpus Christi.

'Ubi caritas', an antiphon taken from the Mass for Maundy Thursday, begins and ends with only the darker choral sound of the altos, tenors and basses. Each phrase of the text is repeated and the altos alternate singing them in two separate choirs. The tenors are subdivided into two voice parts in order to maintain four-part chordal harmony. After the sopranos enter for the exultant central section, the harmonic structure increases to five parts.

'Tota pulchra es' employs the texts of three antiphons from the Second Vespers for the Feast of the Immaculate Conception. The opening text alternates as a refrain between the other two verses, forming a five-section ABACA structure. It is set in three voice parts for subdivided sopranos and undivided altos, with an occasional expansion to four female voice parts. In contrast to the strict chordal harmony of 'Ubi caritas', this motet blends contrapuntal and chordal styles.

The short text for 'Tu es Petrus' is taken from the gospel of St Matthew, as used in the final antiphon of the First Vespers for the Feast of the Holy Apostles, Peter and Paul. The plainchant melody is set polyphonically for all four voice parts and the music rises to its most forceful climax at the very end of the motet.

The text of 'Tantum ergo' is set polyphonically for all four voices, with the plainchant melody carried in the soprano line, and freely imitated in the tenor part. Just as the melody is repeated in the second verse of the plainchant version, the entire polyphonic setting is repeated in Duruflé’s motet version.

from notes by Carl R Cunningham © 2016

Les quatre motets de 1960 sont des morceaux idéaux pour accompagner le Requiem, car chacun est basé sur le chant grégorien approprié, de la même façon que les mouvements de ce dernier. Duruflé révèle son talent particulier pour faire ressortir l’élément spirituel du plain-chant dans un contexte polyphonique tout en obtenant un rythme souple apparenté à la prière humaine. Ubi caritas et amor coule librement, de façon syllabique et méditative, alors que Tota pulchra es (pour voix hautes) est plus léger et plus gai tout en restant doux et féminin. Tu es Petrus est un morceau entraînant et optimiste: la fondation de l’église sur un rocher est suggérée par la construction du motet sur son ouverture en canon jusqu’à sa dernière cadence robuste. Tantum ergo nous ramene au style mélancolique et méditatif qui caractérise une grande partie du Requiem; l’«Amen» final tombe comme un soupir sur ce groupe de motets, cristallisant comme eux l’essence du langage musical étudié, mais inspiré, de Duruflé.

extrait des notes rédigées par Wadham Sutton © 1989
Français: Hypérion

Die Quatre motets von 1960 sind ideale Begleitstücke für das Requiem, da jedes in gleicher Weise auf dem entsprechenden Gregorianischen Gesang beruht wie die Sätze des umfangreicheren Werkes. Hier zeigt Duruflé sein besonderes Talent, das spirituelle Element des Gregorianischen Gesangs in einem polyphonen Kontext anzuführen, während er eine Geschmeidigkeit des Rhythmus erreicht, die dem menschlichen Gebet ähnlich ist. Ubi caritas et amor fließt frei und silbenhaft in einem meditativen Stil, während Tota pulchra es leichter und munterer, und dennoch sanft und feminin ist. Tu es Petrus ist ein mitreißendes und optimistisches Werk, die Gründung der Kirche auf dem Stein von Peter wird zum Ausdruck gebracht durch den Aufbau der Motette auf ihrer kanonischen Einleitung bis zu ihrer starken und soliden Finalkadenz. Tantum ergo bringt uns zurück zu dem meditativen, melancholischen Stil, der einen Großteil des Requiem charakterisiert: Das abschließende „Amen“ legt sich wie ein Seufzer auf diese Gruppe von Motetten, die die Essenz der wohlüberlegten und doch inspirierten musikalischen Sprache Duruflés herauskristallisieren.

aus dem Begleittext von Wadham Sutton © 1989
Deutsch: Anke Vogelhuber

Recordings

Duruflé: Complete Choral Works
Studio Master: SIGCD571Download onlyStudio Master FLAC & ALAC downloads available
Duruflé: Requiem & Four Motets
CDA66191
Duruflé: Requiem & Messe Cum jubilo
CDA66757
Duruflé: Requiem & other choral works
Studio Master: KGS0016Download onlyStudio Master FLAC & ALAC downloads available
Duruflé: Requiem; Grunenwald: De profundis
SIGCD163Download only
My Beloved's Voice
Studio Master: SIGCD370Download onlyStudio Master FLAC & ALAC downloads available
Remembrance
CDA67398
The Feast of Saint Peter the Apostle at Westminster Abbey
CDA67770
This is the day
COLCD136Download only

Details

No 1: Ubi caritas et amor
Track 13 on CDA67398 [2'40]
Track 10 on CDA66191 [2'41]
Track 10 on CDA66757 [2'28]
Track 8 on COLCD136 [2'30] Download only
Track 5 on SIGCD163 [2'15] Download only
Track 4 on SIGCD370 [2'18] Download only
Track 6 on SIGCD571 [2'49] Download only
Track 10 on KGS0016 [1'57] Download only
No 2: Tota pulchra es
Track 11 on CDA66191 [2'08]
Track 11 on CDA66757 [2'05]
Track 6 on SIGCD163 [1'56] Download only
Track 7 on SIGCD571 [2'08] Download only
Track 11 on KGS0016 [1'59] Download only
No 3: Tu es Petrus
Track 1 on CDA67770 [0'58]
Track 12 on CDA66191 [0'52]
Track 12 on CDA66757 [0'57]
Track 7 on SIGCD163 [0'52] Download only
Track 8 on SIGCD571 [1'01] Download only
Track 12 on KGS0016 [0'54] Download only
No 4: Tantum ergo
Track 13 on CDA66191 [3'09]
Track 13 on CDA66757 [2'49]
Track 8 on SIGCD163 [3'02] Download only
Track 9 on SIGCD571 [2'38] Download only
Track 13 on KGS0016 [2'42] Download only

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