In this Musical Moment, VocalEssence artistic director and founder Philip Brunelle shares insider information and beautiful music by the composer Maurice Duruflé.
The French organist and composer Maurice Duruflé is known for the extraordinary sensitivity in his music. At age ten, he entered the choir school at Rouen Cathedral, where he was immersed in the plainsong tradition that deeply influenced his compositions. His musical development was also profoundly influenced by his teachers Charles Tournemire and Louis Vierne and his study at the Paris Conservatoire. As an organist, Duruflé toured Europe, the USA, and the USSR, and served at Saint-Étienne-du-Mont from 1930 until his death. He also served as professor of harmony at the Paris Conservatoire from 1943 to 1970. As a highly self-critical and reflective composer, Duruflé wrote only fourteen published compositions. All of his music is meticulously crafted and reveals his distinct compositional voice rooted in the contemplative stylings of Gregorian Chant.