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Chant donnée 'Hommage à Jean Gallon'


Writings about Duruflé all—quite rightly—emphasise the influence of the three teachers to whom he dedicated his first three organ works ‘in grateful homage’: Tournemire, Vierne, and Dukas, his Professor of Composition. But equally important was the harmony teacher, Jean Gallon, with whom he studied at the Conservatoire for two years. Gallon broadened conventional harmony teaching by encouraging ‘the flavour of modality so characteristic of modern French music’, and this was perfect for Duruflé, who was naturally drawn to this style of ‘white-note’ music via his love of Gregorian chant (just as English composers were drawn to it through their love of old folksongs). The concentrated essence of Duruflé’s art can be found in the single page of the Chant donné (Hommage à Jean Gallon), which he wrote in 1953 for an anthology of harmony exercises offered to Gallon on his retirement by his former pupils. For the twenty-year-old Duruflé, the study of harmony had opened a whole new world: not just simple block chords, but immaculate four-part realisations of a given melody or bass, in which each voice should have a life and interest of its own. It was here that he learnt (and afterwards taught) the delicate art of blending harmony and counterpoint, the vertical and the horizontal, which he would later display to such moving effect in works like the Kyrie of the Requiem, the Fugue sur le nom d’Alain, and the Adagio on the Veni Creator.

from notes by David Gammie © 2021


Duruflé: Complete organ works
Studio Master: KGS0053-DDownload onlyStudio Master FLAC & ALAC downloads available


Track 10 on KGS0053-D [1'43] Download only

Track-specific metadata for KGS0053-D track 10

Recording date
20 March 2020
Recording venue
King's College Chapel, Cambridge, United Kingdom
Recording producer
Gary Cole
Recording engineer
Benjamin Sheen
Hyperion usage
  1. Duruflé: Complete organ works (KGS0053-D)
    Disc 1 Track 10
    Release date: June 2021
    Download only
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