Berliner Philharmoniker

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Berliner Philharmoniker

Donald Runnicles conducts a concert “à la française”

Maurice Duruflé’s Requiem – conducted here by Donald Runnicles – is among those sacred works that convey a notion of a better world beyond. Echoes of Gregorian chant are mixed with scintillating impressionist colours to create a magical and ethereal whole. The remaining programme consisting of works by Claude Debussy and Olivier Messiaen is also French and transcendental.

Berliner Philharmoniker

Donald Runnicles Conductor

Martina Welschenbach Sopran

Kelley O'Connor Mezzo-Soprano

Noel Bouley Bass Baritone

Rundfunkchor Berlin

Simon Halsey Chorus Master

Olivier Messiaen

Hymne

Olivier Messiaen

Les Offrandes oubliées, Méditation symphonique

Claude Debussy

La Damoiselle élue

Maurice Duruflé

Requiem op. 9

Dates and Tickets

sales information

Tue, 10 Mar 2015 8 p.m.

Philharmonie

Introduction: 7:00 pm

25 to 74 €

Wed, 11 Mar 2015 8 p.m.

Philharmonie

Introduction: 7:00 pm

25 to 74 €

Thu, 12 Mar 2015 8 p.m.

Philharmonie

Introduction: 7:00 pm

25 to 74 €

Programme

Donald Runnicles specialises in performances of requiems. At least this impression could arise if you look back on the Philharmonic concerts the Scottish conductor has conducted since 2003: he has already conducted the requiems by Benjamin Britten, Hector Berlioz and Johannes Brahms. This time, the General Music Director of the Deutsche Oper Berlin will apply himself to Maurice Duruflé’s requiem.

The work is the best-known creation of the French composer, who was one of his country’s great organists in the 20th century. Duruflé, who studied with Louis Vierne and Paul Dukas, was inspired in his requiem by the Gregorian melodies of the Catholic liturgy, which he in some cases quotes in the original and drapes in very subtle sounds. By this means he created a vocal composition of suggestive character – archaic, transcendent, consolatory. And the work makes one thing very clear: Duruflé’s musical language is rooted not only in Gregorian chant, but also in French impressionism.

The programme begins with two works by Duruflé’s contemporary and colleague Olivier Messiaen: Hymne and Les Offrands oubliées. Like Duruflé, Messiaen was also an organist. The Catholic church, the liturgy and piety also strongly shaped his musical oeuvre. These two orchestral compositions, early works by Messiaen, have a sacral character and are characterised by a richly coloured, atmospherically dense musical language. Claude Debussy’s poetic cantata La damoiselle élue is another early work. While in this work the young composer is still under the influence of Richard Wagner’s music, Debussy’s personal style is already apparent.

Donald Runnicles

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All programmes may also be found at: Berliner Bühnen Go to berlin-buehnen.de