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Psaume CXXIX 'De profundis version'

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Separated into three movements, Psaume CXXIX was written in 1961 for choir and orchestra, including organ, and presents the complete Latin text of the psalm. The instrumental sections of this work are extensive and are vital in creating a dark atmosphere at the opening of the first movement (‘De Profundis’). The opening words of the text ‘Out of the deep have I called unto you O Lord’ are appropriately introduced by the basses, before a wordless section for full choir brings a quiet cry of despair vividly to life in a considerable and early climax. A softer section follows, in which the mood slowly begins to change as the psalmist states his plea further.

A sense of relief is felt as the second movement begins (‘Quia apud’) with a calm statement ‘For with thee there is merciful forgiveness’ in the upper voices. The tone becomes more confident as the resultant affirmation of ‘Let Israel hope in the Lord’ approaches, before the return of material from the opening movement lends an air of uncertainty once more. The text of this psalm is traditionally found in the Mass for the Dead, and Grunenwald appends the opening incantation of the Mass as the final movement (‘Requiem aeternam’). The sentiment is one of optimism once more, however, as gentle counterpoint works its way through the choir, before the sopranos are left alone to bring the work to a close with a clear vision of ecstasy.

from notes by Adam Binks © 2009


Duruflé: Requiem; Grunenwald: De profundis
SIGCD163Download only


Movement 1: De profundis
Track 2 on SIGCD163 [8'16] Download only
Movement 2: Quia apud
Track 3 on SIGCD163 [9'21] Download only
Movement 3: Requiem aeternam
Track 4 on SIGCD163 [4'47] Download only

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