Welcome to Hyperion Records, an independent British classical label devoted to presenting high-quality recordings of music of all styles and from all periods from the twelfth century to the twenty-first.

Hyperion offers both CDs, and downloads in a number of formats. The site is also available in several languages.

Please use the dropdown buttons to set your preferred options, or use the checkbox to accept the defaults.

Requiem, Op 48

composer
first performed, before the composition of Offertoire or Libera me, at the Madeleine on 16 January 1888; first complete performance in the same venue on 21 January 1893; version with larger orchestra, probably not approved by Fauré, performed 12 July 1900

 
Fauré’s father died in the summer of 1885 and his mother on the last day of 1887. It was between these two bereavements that Fauré wrote his Requiem. Much has been made of the supposed connection between the death of Fauré’s father, his mother’s subsequent emotional decline, and the work’s composition, but Fauré himself was clear: ‘My Requiem was not written for anything—for pleasure, if I can call it that!’ After the premiere, the priest-in-charge memorably told Fauré that ‘we do not need these novelties—the Madeleine’s repertory is already diverse enough’. Such criticism, while blinkered, at least recognized that Fauré was trying to break the mould: ‘My instinct led me to stray from the established path after all those years accompanying funerals! I’d had them up to here. I wanted to do something different.’ And Fauré’s Requiem continued to grow in popularity, in spite of its novel sound world and the music’s unique response to the text. Having doggedly earned its place in the French canon, the Requiem was sung in the Madeleine at Fauré’s own funeral service in 1924, reaching London only in 1936 (nearly half a century after it was composed) despite the earnest efforts of Fauré’s friend Elgar to arrange a performance in London or at the Three Choirs Festival in his and Fauré’s own lifetimes. The United States did only slightly better, the American premiere taking place in 1931. According to Fauré’s pupil Nadia Boulanger (who conducted the first English performances in 1936 and 1938): ‘No external effect detracts from its sober and somewhat severe expression of grief; no disquiet or agitation disturbs its profound meditation; no doubt tarnishes its unassailable faith, its quiet confidence, its tender and peaceful expectation.’

Before the editions of the early 1980s made by John Rutter and Denis Arnold, Fauré’s Requiem was generally known as a concert piece for large choir and full orchestra. The original instrumentation was, however, quite different: smaller and more intimate; liturgical-chamber rather than concert-orchestral. The crucial element is the organ, and the sparser the instrumentation, the more comfortably this masterwork fits into an appropriate ecclesiastical space. The arrangement on this recording adds two string instruments and a harp to the organ and choral palette. The sounds of the harp have been fully appreciated by many French composers over the last two centuries, and the instrument’s iconography also links it angelically to heaven; highly appropriate in a Requiem. The violin and the cello act as vibrant extensions of the organ; not quite another manual, but a living, breathing rank with its own subtle tremulant. The first performance of Fauré’s Requiem took place liturgically at the funeral of Joseph Lesoufaché, an architect, at the Madeleine in 1888. At that stage there were only five movements: the ‘Offertoire’ and ‘Libera me’ (the two movements involving the baritone soloist) were added later. In fact the ‘Libera me’ had been completed as an independent work for voice and organ ten years previously; the ‘Offertoire’ was the only movement to postdate the first performance of the Requiem. As Fauré himself said: ‘Everything that I managed to entertain by way of religious illusion, I put into my Requiem, which, moreover, is dominated from start to finish by an entirely human feeling of belief in eternal rest.’

from notes by Jeremy Summerly © 2017

Recordings

Fauré: Requiem & other choral works
Studio Master: KGS0005Download onlyStudio Master FLAC & ALAC downloads available
Fauré & Duruflé: Requiem
CDA67070Download only
Fauré: Requiem & other sacred music
Studio Master: CDA68209Studio Master FLAC & ALAC downloads available
Fauré: Requiem & other sacred music
CDA66292
Fauré: Requiem & other sacred music
CSCD520Download only
Fauré: Requiem; Bach: Partita, Chorales & Ciaccona
Studio Master: LSO0728Download onlyStudio Master FLAC & ALAC downloads available
Remembrance
CDA67398
Stillness and Sweet Harmony
CSCD502Download only
The music of King's
Studio Master: KGS0034-DDownload onlyStudio Master FLAC & ALAC downloads available

Details

Movement 1: Introït et Kyrie  Requiem aeternam dona eis, Domine
author of text

Track 1 on CDA66292 [6'13]
Track 1 on CDA67070 [6'13] Download only
Track 1 on CDA68209 [6'12]
Track 1 on CSCD520 [5'55] Download only
Track 10 on LSO0728 [6'35] Download only
Movement 1a: Introït  Requiem aeternam dona eis, Domine
author of text

Track 1 on KGS0005 [1'34] Download only
Movement 1b: Kyrie
author of text

Track 2 on KGS0005 [3'54] Download only
Movement 2: Offertoire  O Domine Jesu Christe
author of text

Track 2 on CDA66292 [8'38]
Track 2 on CDA67070 [8'38] Download only
Track 2 on CDA68209 [7'33]
Track 2 on CSCD520 [8'21] Download only
Track 11 on LSO0728 [8'15] Download only
Movement 2: Offertoire (1889 version)  O Domine Jesu Christe
author of text

Track 3 on KGS0005 [2'50] Download only
Movement 2: Offertoire (1900 version)  O Domine Jesu Christe
author of text

Track 9 on KGS0005 [8'05] Download only
Movement 3: Sanctus
author of text

Track 3 on CDA66292 [3'12]
Track 3 on CDA67070 [3'12] Download only
Track 3 on CDA68209 [3'02]
Track 3 on CSCD520 [3'03] Download only
Track 4 on KGS0005 [3'10] Download only
Track 12 on LSO0728 [3'33] Download only
Movement 4: Pie Jesu
author of text

Track 4 on CDA66292 [3'57]
Track 4 on CDA67070 [3'57] Download only
Track 12 on CDA67398 [3'33]
Track 4 on CDA68209 [3'26]
Track 2 on CSCD502 [3'29] Download only
Track 4 on CSCD520 [3'29] Download only
Track 5 on KGS0005 [3'03] Download only
Track 5 on KGS0034-D [3'17] Download only
Track 13 on LSO0728 [3'32] Download only
Movement 5: Agnus Dei
author of text

Track 5 on CDA66292 [5'40]
Track 5 on CDA67070 [5'40] Download only
Track 5 on CDA68209 [5'29]
Track 5 on CSCD520 [5'17] Download only
Track 6 on KGS0005 [5'20] Download only
Track 14 on LSO0728 [6'17] Download only
Movement 6: Libera me
author of text

Track 6 on CDA66292 [4'39]
Track 6 on CDA67070 [4'39] Download only
Track 6 on CDA68209 [4'16]
Track 6 on CSCD520 [4'30] Download only
Track 7 on KGS0005 [4'48] Download only
Track 15 on LSO0728 [4'53] Download only
Movement 7: In paradisum
author of text

Track 7 on CDA66292 [3'28]
Track 7 on CDA67070 [3'28] Download only
Track 7 on CDA68209 [3'21]
Track 7 on CSCD520 [3'41] Download only
Track 8 on KGS0005 [3'20] Download only
Track 16 on LSO0728 [3'35] Download only

Track-specific metadata

Click track numbers above to select
Waiting for content to load...
Waiting for content to load...