After the third recording, released in March 2019, which documented an interpretation of Bruckner’s Sixth Symphony that critics praised as “touching”, “stirring” and “breathtaking”, Robin Ticciati and the DSO have returned to French music for their fourth recording. Maurice Duruflé (1902–1986), the “last Impressionist”, was a musical, conservative, a successor to Fauré, Debussy, Dukas and Ravel. Admired as a teacher and celebrated as one of the greatest organists of his era, he composed slowly and released only a few works for publication. His intimate knowledge of Gregorian chant finds expression in the Requiem, which was composed at the end of the 1940s. It feels like it has fallen out of time, yet with its extraordinary colourfulness, beauty and power it is among the most important sacred works of the 20th century—a masterpiece that Robin Ticciati considers “balsam for the soul ... filled with enormous hope and peaceful searching”. The existing orchestral version, which was composed before the organ version usually played, resurrects the Impressionists’ world of sound in its unique fusing of choral and orchestral colours.
It’s no wonder therefore that Ticciati is placing the Requiem beside the magically shimmering tone paintings of Debussy’s ‘Nocturnes’: overcast ‘Nuages’, bucolically high-spirited ‘Fêtes’, and the wondrously enchanting Finale with the wordless chorus of the ‘Sirènes’, revolutionary for its time. The Rundfunkchor Berlin will take on the choral parts; a highly esteemed choir, they’ve been a partner of the DSO for many years, and have won many prizes; Czech mezzo-soprano Magdalena Kožená was won over as the soloist.
The new release in September 2019 is the continuation of the collaboration the DSO initiated with Linn Records in 2017. The multiple award-winning label, with its carefully curated portfolio, is geared at an audiophile target group and offers, in addition to sound carriers, high-resolution studio master files for download. Other joint productions are already being prepared.