An Evening of French Music: Duruflé, Poulenc, Fauré, Franck – Winchester Cathedral

Saturday, 21 June 2014 - 7:30pm


Summer Concert Poster
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Duruflé Requiem
Poulenc Organ Concerto
Fauré Cantique de Jean Racine
Franck Panis angelicus and Psalm 150

Winchester Cathedral
Saturday 21 June
7.30 pm

Southampton Philharmonic Choir
Southampton University Philharmonic Choir
New London Sinfonia

Marie Elliott mezzo-soprano
Nicholas Warden bass-baritone
George Castle organist
David Gibson conductor


The subtle rhythms and fluid lines of Gregorian chant permeate Duruflé’s Requiem. Like Brahms and Fauré, Duruflé chose to adhere closely to the central themes of the requiem mass: peace, light, hope, and rest. Duruflé scored three different accompaniments for this work: the original version was for large orchestra; a later version used solo organ; a second orchestral version – the final version he composed – employed strings, three trumpets, timpani, harp and organ part, and this is the version you will hear at our concert in Winchester Cathedral.

Poulenc’s Organ Concerto opens with a thunderously Gothic flourish, followed by sections recalling the impish Poulenc of younger days. Poulenc had never before composed for the organ, and he consulted, among others, Maurice Duruflé, for advice; Duruflé was the soloist at the first performance.

Also in the programme are works by Gabriel Fauré and César Franck. Fauré is best known for his Requiem. However, two requiems in one concert programme might be a little too much, so we instead perform his Cantique de Jean Racine, a work that has, much like his Requiem, captured the affections of choirs and audiences since its composition in 1865.

Franck was born in Liège (now in Belgium; then under the control of the Netherlands) but spent most of his life in France, so it's not very cheeky to include compositions by him in this programme of French music!  For Franck, music was an act of faith, and his setting of Psalm 150 is a reserved religious meditation, while his well-known and much loved Panis Angelicus declares; “The bread of the angels will become the bread of men...” 

Tickets: £32, £26, £20, £15 and £10 – available online from the Cathedral Box Office or by phone on 01962 857 275.

Concessions available for: children 18 and under; job seekers; disability benefit; students; wheelchair users and their accompanying carers and seniors.  Buy 10, get 1 free.