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date: 12 December 2019

Duruflé, Mauricelocked

  • Nicholas Kaye

Extract

(b Louviers, Jan 11, 1902; d Paris, June 16, 1986). French composer and organist. He received his early musical education (1912–18) at a choir school in Rouen, where he deputised at the cathedral for his teacher Jules Haelling, a pupil of Guilmant. The choral plainsong tradition which thrived there became a profound influence. Maurice Emmanuel heard him play and arranged for him to go to Paris and meet Tournemire who prepared him for entry to the Conservatoire. Duruflé became his deputy at St Clotilde in 1920 but turned to Vierne as a teacher. The entirely contrasting musical temperaments and inspirations of these two composers can be traced in Duruflé's compositions. (He was later to transcribe a number of their recorded improvisations.) From Tournemire he inherited the mystical world of plainsong and the rich ambiguities of modal harmony. From Vierne came a more rigorous sense of structure and proportion and an awareness of the breadth of the organ's capabilities. In ...

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