Dr. Eric Nelson directs Atlanta Sacred Chorale in this intimate and powerful performance of the exquisite 20th Century masterpiece, recorded live in concert in the perfect acoustics of Spivey Hall, joined by chamber orchestra and nationally renowned organist, Bruce Neswick.
Requiem aeternam: Rest eternal.
These are the first words of the Requiem mass. They are the words from which we take the name of the Roman rite and also the essence of the mass itself - a prayer for eternal rest.
The many musical settings of this text that have been composed over the centuries strike a balance between prayers of petition for the departed, comfort for the living, and fear of eternal judgment and damnation. In the Requiem of Maurice Duruflé (1902-1986) we find a work that seeks most of all for mercy, comfort and tranquility in the face of our inevitable mortality. The listener is left with an overwhelming sense that the prayers which are offered will be accepted; that the divine will hear; that mercy will be given. In his Requiem, Duruflé weds the ancient melodies of Gregorian chant to extraordinarlity beautiful and luminous French harmonies. Pools of quiet reflection rise to crests of glorious power only to recede once again into gentleness. Moments of sweeping grandeur yield to passages of serene stillness that hang suspended, seemingly unaware of the passing of time. The soul is ushered into paradise itself as the last chord evaporates into eternity. --Eric Nelson