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Requiem(s)

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Audio CD, October 10, 2000
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Editorial Reviews


1. Granum Sinapis, for chorus: No. 1: 'Au commencement...'
2. Granum Sinapis, for chorus: No. 2: 'Des deux un fleuve...'
3. Granum Sinapis, for chorus: No. 3: 'Der Trois la boucle...'
4. Granum Sinapis, for chorus: No. 4: 'Ce point est la montagne...'
5. Granum Sinapis, for chorus: No. 5: 'Ce désert est le Bien...'
6. Granum Sinapis, for chorus: No. 6: 'C'est lumière, c'est clarté...'
7. Granum Sinapis, for chorus: No. 7: 'Deviens tel un enfant...'
8. Granum Sinapis, for chorus: No. 8: 'Ô mon âme...'
9. Umbrae Mortis, for chorus
10. Dona Eis, for chorus & wind ensemble: Introit
11. Dona Eis, for chorus & wind ensemble: Graduale
12. Dona Eis, for chorus & wind ensemble: Tractus & Offertorium
13. Dona Eis, for chorus & wind ensemble: Dona
14. Dona Eis, for chorus & wind ensemble: Sanctus & Libera me
15. Dona Eis, for chorus & wind ensemble: Umbrae

Product Details

  • Orchestra: Ars Nova
  • Conductor: Laurence Equilbey
  • Composer: Pascal Dusapin
  • Audio CD (October 10, 2000)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Naive
  • ASIN: B0000DETD6
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #690,953 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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This Naïve disc brings us three choral works that Pascal Dusapin wrote in the Nineties. Laurence Equilbey leads France's Accentus choir, with the Ars Nova ensemble contributing a few winds and brass in one piece.

The three pieces here are generally slow and spare, and can be most readily compared to his poignant flute concerto "Galim" and bleak cello concerto "Celo" of the same time. Dusapin had suffered the loss of friends and relatives in these years, leading him to set fragments from the Requiem mass in "Umbrae mortis" for mixed choir (1997). He used the Requiem mass again in "Dona eis" for mixed choir and 7 instruments (1998), but accompanies this text with fragments of the libretto from his opera Roméo et Juliette.

"Granum sinapis" for mixed choir (1992-97) has a different basis, namely poems by the medieval mystic Meister Eckhart in the original Middle High German. These describe a philosophical quest to understand God or (to less religiously inclined listeners, the infinite). Here the austere, skeletal music seems to represent the highly apophatic nature of Eckhart's reasoning.

Extended techniques are used sparingly, such as exhalations, singing with the mouth closed, some of the choir speaking in a whisper while others sing, and quarter tones. Dusapin's music is atonal, but not in an academic, abstract way. Rather, there's something "exotic" or "Oriental" about the scales he uses, and he is clearly interested in intense emotional expression.

It took me a long time to give this a fair listen.
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