Maurice Durufle: The Man and His Music - Eastman Studies in Music v. 47 (Hardback)James Frazier (author)
Hardback 402 Pages / Published: 20/08/2008
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Maurice Durufle: The Man and His Music is a new biography of the great French organist and composer (1902-86), and the most comprehensive in any language. James E. Frazier traces Durufle's musical training, his studies with Tournemire and Vierne, and his career as an organist, church musician, composer, recitalist, Conservatoire professor, and orchestral musician. Frazier also examines the career and contributions of Durufle's wife, the formidable organist Marie-Madeleine Durufle-Chevalier. Durufle 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 Durufle personally as well as on Frazier's own detailed research, Maurice Durufle 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 -- and the masterful Requiem. James E. Frazier is organist and Director of Music at the Episcopal Church of Saint John the Evangelist in Saint Paul, Minnesota.
Publisher: Boydell & Brewer Ltd
Number of pages: 402
Weight: 750 g
Dimensions: 229 x 152 x 26 mm
A mine of information. . . . a veritable tale of our times. MUSICAL TIMES [Andrew Thomson] Provides significant insight into Durufle's works and the relatively secretive life he and his wife led. . . . Frazier's research is excellent. . . . An important contribution. CHOICE [Brian Doherty] Frazier's exploration of arabesque in architecture and music and his treatment of musical luminosity are memorably insightful and reveal a thoughtful understanding of Durufle's work. . . . An interesting and well-constructed view of Durufle's world, and a highly informative text as well. CHOIR & ORGAN [Steven Plank] A work of unprecedented scope and depth, . . . [Frazier's book] is a biography abundantly rich in detail; though it declines the tone of a hagiography, it is obviously a labor of love. . . . Frazier skillfully illuminates the contexts in which Durufle's life unfolded . . . [and] Frazier's survey of Durufle's compositions is particularly strong. . . . A special pleasure of the book is the chapter on [Durufle's future wife, and a world-renowned organist,] Marie-Madeleine Chevalier . . . Frazier's book will no doubt stand as a defining work in Durufle scholarship and nurture scholars of 20th-century French organ music for years to come. AMERICAN ORGANIST [Lawrence Archbold] One of the best musical biographies I have read for many years: sound in musical and, for the most part, in historical judgment . . . , sympathetic without being sycophantic, and most gracefully written. Durufle deserves no less. GRAMOPHONE [Roger Nichols] [Frazier] sees Durufle as a compelling figure, given over to the same foibles and doubts we all have. Frazier's ability to obtain primary sources lends credence to his observations. This is a superb work, one to be valued by usic historians and organists alike. AMERICAN RECORD GUIDE, Jan/Feb 2008 [Donald Metz] This substantial study . . . although sympathetic . . . is not a work of hagiography. . . .[The author argues that] the somewhat short-lived revival of Gregorian chant in the French church . . . [during] Durufle's composing life was a happy coincidence from which music was the main beneficiary [notably through the widely beloved Requiem]. . . . The very considerable value of this booklies in its personal evaluation of a man whose personality is likely to remain something of a mystery but whose music has already transcended his life. TEMPO [Bret Johnson]
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