This new biography of the great French organist and composer (1902-1986) is the most comprehensive in any language. James E. Frazier, organist and director of music at the Episcopal Church of St. John the Evangelist, St. Paul, Minnesota, traces Duruflé’s musical training, his studies with Tournemire and Vierne, and his career as an organist, church musician, composer, recitalist, conservatory professor and orchestral musician. Frazier also examines the career and contributions of Duruflé’s wife, the formidable organist Marie-Madeleine Duruflé-Chevalier. Duruflé brought the church’s unique language of plainsong into a compelling liaison with the secular harmonies of the modern French school (as typified by Debussy, Ravel, and Dukas) in works for his own instrument and in his widely loved masterpiece the Requiem, Op. 9, for soloists, chorus, organ, and orchestra. Drawing on the accounts of those who knew Duruflé personally as well as Frazier’s own detailed research, this book offers a broad sketch of this modest and elusive man, widely recognized today for having created some of the greatest works in the organ repertory, as well as the masterful Requiem.
Hardbound, 388 pages