Monday, August 20, 2012

Faure - Requiem

When I was in college, I had the privilege of being in two of the best choirs on campus. Once a year these choirs would go on tour, and once every two years that tour would include a performance at San Xavier del Bac. I had the opportunity to go to San Xavier twice, and performed Faure's Requiem on one of those tours. I don't know if this music would be as near and dear had I not performed it in a 200+ year old church with a substantial echo delay, but it is one of the most remarkable pieces of choral music I have ever heard.

Gabriel Faure had a certain knack for creating interesting and highly efffective chords. His music, when properly performed, will have overtones bouncing around the room long after the choir has stopped singing. "In Paradisum" is absolutely angelic, and his "Agnus Dei" is absolutely the best I have ever heard in all of Latin sacred music (and believe me, I've heard a few Agnus Dei's in my day). Faure's Requiem is an absolute delight to sing, and a nearly equal delight to listen to. The Schola Cantorum of Oxford gives an inspiring performance of the requiem on this disc, and I highly recommend it.

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